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A sequel to Ang Lee’s 2000 martial arts film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is happening — and I’m not talking about what some actor said over lunch or tossed out there during a press junket, either. This thing is going down — this May, in fact.
The Weinstein Company, who released the first movie 13 years ago, will be heading to China to shoot a sequel to the award-winning Ang Lee-directed film (it won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film), with Chinese action veteran director Ronny Yu in talks to take over directing duties.
Yu is no stranger to martial arts action, having directed the “Bride With White Hair” series back in the ’90s, and more recently the 2006 Jet Li martial arts flick “Fearless”. Hollywood fans might know him better as the director of “Freddy vs. Jason”, “The 51st State”, and “Bride of Chucky”. Admittedly, his Hollywood output have not exactly been stellar, but the guy certainly knows his way around high-flying Chinese kung fu masters with swords and other deadly objects.
The Weinstein Company have also set screenwriter John Fusco (“The Forbidden Kingdom”) to pen the script to the sequel, once again working off the same Chinese material by Du Lu Wang that Ang Lee and co-writer James Schamus had previously mined for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. The sequel will tackle “Silver Vase, Iron Knight”.
As for the plot of the sequel, Fusco tells Deadline:
This introduces a new generation of star-crossed lovers, and a new series of antagonists in a battle of good and evil. It has a Knights Errant quality. There is an alternate universe in the books, a martial forest that exists alongside the real world, full of wandering sword fighters, medicine men, defrocked priests, poets, sorcerers and Shaolin renegades. It’s so vast and rich, and I found characters from the second and third books in the series to create a most interesting stew while being as true to the source material as I could be.
Legendary Chinese fight choreographer Wo Ping Yuen (who is a renown martial arts movie director himself) is expected to re-join the sequel, having done the action honors on the 2000 original.
The sequel is expected to follow the adventures of Yu Shu Lien (played by Michelle Yeoh in the first movie).
Here’s a thought: If Yu does sign on to direct, what are the chances he can talk his “Fearless” star Jet Li onboard? Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh previously starred together in the 1993 movie “Tai-Chi Master”, so this would be a long-awaited reunion. After all, it’s not like Chow Yun Fat’s character (SPOILER!) is in any shape to return.
Then again, I also wouldn’t mind seeing Zhang Ziyi reprise her character Jen, the kung fu prodigy who caused all kinds of trouble in the first movie.