A remake of the 1993 Sylvester Stallone action thriller Cliffhanger with Jason Momoa is moving forward. Here is the latest.
IMDb lists the project as in pre-production with Momoa listed solely as “rumored” and offers the following synopsis:
“A mountain climber gets caught up in [a] scheme involving thieves trying to recover stolen cash. A remake of the 1993 film ‘Cliffhanger.'”
That is pretty close to the plot of the original where climber Gabe Walker (Stallone) is swept up in the recovery of suitcases full of money lost in the snowy Rockies after a plane crash. A criminal named Qualen (John Lithgow) and his gang of associates is after the loot.
English-born Iranian-American female director Ana Lily Amirpour is slated to direct the new film. She confirmed her involvement on Instagram last May with poster art. “YES. THIS IS HAPPENING,” wrote the filmmaker succinctly.
She is known for the unusual Iranian vampire horror film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) and directed episodes of Legion, Briarpatch starring Rosario Dawson, and Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone revival.
Amirpour also wrote and directed the 2016 cannibal kidnapping caper The Bad Batch. Featuring Momoa, Bad Batch has a middling rating on IMDb and stands at 47% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences are more lukewarm, giving it 31%.
Renny Harlin directed and produced the 1993 Cliffhanger after stints in the Die Hard and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. He went on to have a varied career directing notorious flops such as Cutthroat Island and The Legend of Hercules as well as cult favorites Deep Blue Sea, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and 12 Rounds.
Sascha Penn, the writer of Creed 2 (another film with Stallone), is in charge of the script. He is also a writer and producer on the Starz drama Power.
Neal Moritz (Sonic the Hedgehog, Bloodshot, Fast and the Furious franchise) and his company Original Film are producing along with London-based Rocket Science whose website also designates Cliffhanger as in pre-production.
According to Deadline, the two companies see “franchise potential” in an action picture with a budget comparable to the first one (around $70 million) that doesn’t skimp on the visuals or excitement.
“I am very excited to partner with Original Film and Rocket Science, who share my passion for this character-driven, high-adrenaline story; the survival film is one of my favorite genres. We are setting out to create a thrill-ride on the mountain which taps into the primal side of an action movie, where you see what a person is capable of doing to survive in the most extreme situations, pushed to the limits. Add to that some high-stakes espionage and a badass female mountain climber as the lead and it becomes a truly epic reinvention of what made the original Cliffhanger movie so fun and so thrilling.”
“I’ve been wanting to re-make this adrenaline filled survival thriller with a strong female protagonist – both in front of and behind the camera – for some time. The elements came together with Ana Lily and Rocket Science and we look forward to gathering the rest of the pieces. I’ve always wanted to make the movies I want to see — big at their core with characters which connect to the audience while simultaneously encouraging them to leave their house and go to a theater. Cliffhanger is just that, in what we hope will be the first of an entirely new franchise.”
They aim for a female-led story though no casting or talks have been announced other than Momoa. A passionate climber, says Men’s Journal, his role might amount to a cameo. Even so, they add his “involvement appears to be close to a done deal,” based on this Instagram post:
Stallone’s involvement is in doubt and reportedly nonexistent. He’s tried in vain to this day to get a sequel to Cliffhanger made. Only the reboot has traction.
While the drive to bring life back to a beloved movie is admirable, everyone may want to take into account how the similarly gynocentric Birds of Prey and Charlie’s Angels performed in theaters before they push on any further.
What are your thoughts on a rebooted Cliffhanger with this team? Give us your comments.