A number of prominent American directors, most notably Quentin Tarantino and the Wachowski brothers, cite John Woo as one of their inspirations and idols.
A widely publicized March 2005 list of "The Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures" included two John Woo films, The Killer and A Better Tomorrow.
To differentiate his films from various martial arts (which rarely use firearms) categories, John Woo films are often referred to as "Gun Fu".
In the seventies, he had a great deal of success making comedies.
John is a Christian, having grown up in a Lutheran family, and often uses Christian symbols (especially doves) in his films.
Due to religious persecution, Woo's parents left the mainland for Hong Kong when he was five years old.
His favorite handgun is the Beretta 92F/FS, which is used in most of his films. He likes the way the gun looks and considers it to be an "important character".
Woo's movie The Killer (1989) became the most successful Hong Kong film in the U.S. since 1973's Enter the Dragon.
In 2005, he became only the fifth Chinese director to sit on the board of judges for the Cannes Film Festival.
With the 1993 film Hard Target, John Woo became the first Asian director ever to make a mainstream Hollywood film.
His trademark style of beautifully choreographed extreme violence was established with the 1986 film A Better Tomorrow.
John Woo is 5' 4.5" tall or 1.64 meters.
Although he was born in Mainland China, Woo grew up in Hong Kong.
His film career started in 1969, working for Cathay studios.
In 1971 he went to work as an assistant director for the Shaw Brothers Studios.
John Woo: I'm not a master, I'm just a hard-working filmmaker. I would like everyone to see me as a friend rather than a master.