Whispers of a “Commando” remake surfaced more than a year ago, but 20th Century Fox has finally confirmed it today, with the announcement that “Training Day’s” David Ayer will be writing and directing the remake. Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the original, which found the Big Oak playing the improbably named John Matrix, a former special forces soldier who is blackmailed into killing a South American dictator, with the bad guys using his daughter (played by a young Alyssa Milano) as leverage. But Arnold being Arnold, he of course ruins the bad guy’s plans, and comes looking for them. The film ends with a wild 30-something minute gunfight where I’m pretty sure Schwarzenegger kills about 50 or so guys, or thereabouts.
Obviously you don’t hire a guy like Ayer and expect him to repeat the outrageous, cartoony action of the original. Ayer not only wrote “Training Day”, but he also wrote and directed “Harsh Realm” and “Street Kings”. Instead of going the over-the-top action mode, Ayer will be making his hero less of a brawny type and more brainy. While the character will still be a former special forces operator forced into action, he won’t be just running and gunning, he’ll also be using actual war tactics against the bad guys. Just so long as there’s plenty of running and gunning too, of coruse.
Besides a young Alyssa Milano, the 1985 original also co-starred Rae Dawn Chong as a flight attendant who is initially forced to help our hero, but then learns to love the big killing machine on his quest of, well, killing bad guys. Meanwhile, Vernon Wells played Bennett, the bad guy’s hired musclehead who fights Schwarzenegger in the end (he’s the musclehead at the beginning of the video below chasing Milano’s character):