LMAO - Okay, first of all...hear me out right quick.
Sixteen years ago this movie came out. It was ratchet as hell, it was hilarious, and it became a "classic" even though it really shouldn't have. That's why I humbly submit it for reboot...with a few essential tweaks.
But before we continue, lemme refresh y'all's memory:
Movin' on then....
The original version was firmly rooted in the action genre, with an emphasis on special effects (and some clownin'). My interpretation would be more serious and plot-oriented, with the action and humor taking a backseat. This Romeo Must Die would be a thriller, emphasizing themes of ambition, betrayal, and internal conflict. Since a Black woman would be the headliner, I would prefer if a Black woman wrote the script, like Reagan Gomez-Preston, for example.
In short, a chance meeting brings Trish O'Day in contact with Han Sing, son of her father's greatest rival. External forces turn one meeting into several as the growing tensions within (and between) their families threaten to explode.
Nicole Beharie as Trish O'Day. This recommendation comes by way of a commenter on the AMBW Network. I'll admit, this choice hadn't occurred to me, but now that I think about it...hell yes. Beharie is 31, so I wouldn't make her portrayal of Trish the owner of a trendy teen clothing store, but rather her father's head of accounting. As her father's chief accountant, Trish knows good and well how the family fortune was made, but since she can't change the past, she's teaming up with her dad to ensure the future.
Trivia: Her theme song could be "Bitch Betta Have My Money" by Rihanna. In fact, that could be the opening track of the film.
Isaiah Washington as Isaak O'Day. If I were to pick one actor from the original it would be Washington, this time to play the man he betrayed. This Isaak would be pretty much the same as the original; a businessman who started out crooked and is trying to get 100% legit. He's proud of his family, that he was able to educate them give them high-paying positions within his company. He sees them the future of the O'Day dynasty...provided that his daughter stops speaking to the son of his greatest rival.
Shad Moss as Colin O'Day. Trish's kid brother Colin is annoyed by how his father dotes on his sister, constantly holding her up has the professional ideal. While Trish is eager to move the business towards a brighter future, Colin is more fascinated by family business's dark past. He sees his father as a hypocrite and his sister as being in denial.
Rose Rollins as Mac. Let's switch it up here, shall we? Mac was originally portrayed by Isaiah Washington. Mac is the family's problem-solver, overseeing its secrets and security. Mac is cynical about Isaak's and Trish's ambitions to straighten out the originally crooked family business, as well as concerned for her future once her unique...talents are no longer required.
Mike Moh as Han Sing. Pretty? Check. Martial artist? Check. Charming? Check, check. In my version of the story, Han is not rotting in prison. Like Trish, he works for his father, and like Trish, he wants the family to stop doing business on the wrong side of the law. Instead of being an accountant though, I see this Han as more of a negotiator type. And by negotiator, I mean broken bones and bullets.
Ken Leung as Ch'u Sing. Granted, Leung is waaaaaay younger than I'd like for this role, but after seeing him on Deception, I found his performance commanding and authoritative. Also, Leung was in Rush Hour, another Afro-Asian American "classic", so this crossover would be a great nod. As the Sing patriarch, Ch'u finds his own family and business at a crossroads when his oldest son suggests their family gets their shit legally together, while his nephew adamantly disagrees. Ch'u might be more amenable to his son's suggestions, were he not involved with the daughter of Isaak O'Day, a man who's been a thorn in Ch'u's side for decades.
Booboo Stewart as Po Sing...long wild hair and all. Pretty? Check! Martial artist? Check, check! Stewart could easily portray the impulsive, loose cannon Po. Po genuinely gives no dambs as to whether the family business is crooked or legit, so long as his rocks, yachts, and fans keep comin' in flocks.
Rain as Kai. I don't think I really need to explain this one, but I will any way. Russell Wong originated this role, so these are some biiiiiiiiig shoes to fill. It took me a while to arrive at Rain, but once I did, he seemed to make the utmost sense. Pretty? Um, duh. Martial artist? Dude. Charismatic enough to portray a sociopath? Absolutely! Not only that, but Rain's sensuous baritone is a thing of legend; we can only imagine how those dangerous, sarcastic, remorseless lines would sound coming from him.
Last but not least, Ninja Assassin is seen as Romeo Must Die's successor in AMBW circles; ergo, such a crossover would thus elevate this reboot to epic status.
Jamie Chung as Meriana Sing. Originally portrayed by Francoise Yip as the motorcyle-riding assassin, we were never made clear on exactly how she was related to the family. But since the cast list shows her as being a Sing, I don't see why she can't be another sociopathic cousin of Han's (it's not like you can have too many of those). We could swap her original action-filled scene with more lines and character development. No creepy, incestuous relationship with Kai, please. The Sings aren't that kind of sociopath.
No...I didn't forget about Silk
Sara Ramirez as Silk. Silk was originally portrayed by rapper DMX. Silk was the owner of an underground, Black-only club. Not only did the "Black-only" seem lame to me, I thought about diversifying the POC a bit more. I was going to go with Adam Rodriguez, but then I thought this film could definitely use more women. So Sara Ramirez gets to be Silk, the charming and deceptively bubbly owner of an underground, Elysium-type jazz club where everybody is welcome...so long as they leave their weapons and war outside the door
This wouldn't be a bad place for Sing and O'Day kids to run into each other.
Justin Lin. Why? Because Romeo Must Die and Ninja Assassin were both directed by white dudes, and we saw how that turned out both times. Never again. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever again.
Because this is a plot-oriented, character-driven thriller, we wouldn't emphasize popular songs on the soundtrack. We'd be better off with a piano or cello-based score which leaves us haunted. And for that, we need the likes of Graeme Revell.
Dude scored The Crow (1994) and The Craft (1996). *sniff* Nuff said.
So...questions? Comments? Dirty looks?