Jon Woo back in the action genre for 'Manhunt'

John Woo‘s career has had so many ups and downs that we’ve lost track where he stands at the moment.

But seriously, the man is a legend just for the Hong-Kong streak he had going between 1986-1992 ( “A Better Tomorrow,” “The Killer,” “Once a Thief,” “Bullet in the Head,” and “Hard Boiled“). Then, of course, Hollywood came knocking at the door and his journey within the American big studio system could be described as tumultuous, at best. Although he gave us 1997’s phenomenal “Face/Off” which had John Travolta and Nicolas Cage legendarily chewing up the scenery, the list of duds he made otherwise in Hollywood (“Hard Target,” “Broken Arrow,”Mission: Impossible 2,” “Windtalkers,” “Paycheck“) couldn’t even come close to the peaks of his Hong Kong releases. Woo, unsurprisingly, decided to go back to his roots by making the well-received period-piece martial arts epic “Red Cliff” in 2009.

It has been eight years since “Red Cliff,” but Woo is back and this time around he’s tackling the genre that made him famous in the first place. “Manhunt” will have Woo tackle the story of a wrongly convicted man, framed for robbery, murder, and rape, who sets out to find the actual culprits with the police hot on his trail.

The film is a remake of a 1976 Japanese movie and returns Woo to the genre that made him famous back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. It will be exciting to see him back in familiar territory after years of Hollywood blockbusters, does he still have to chops to shoot breathless action sequences? Well, the Venice Film Festival seems to think so since they just announced that “Manhunt” will world premiere out of competition for their 74th edition. This is very exciting news and could very well mean we will see it in Toronto as well.

No North American release date has been announced yet for “Manhunt,” but, suffice to say, we will be keeping a close eye on this movie.