This promo reel for “Reign of Assassins” (aka “Jianyu Jianghu”) has John Woo’s name all over the place, and it even claims Woo is a “co-director”, though honestly, who knows if that’s really true, and I’d have to see the finished film to know for sure if there are any Woo trademarks in there. For now, the official credit belongs to Chao-Bin Su as writer and director, with Woo producing. The film stars Michelle Yeoh, Kelly Lin, and South Korean actor Woo-sung Jung (last seen in “The Good, the Bad, the Weird”). Here’s the promo reel/trailer and somewhat spoilerific synopsis courtesy of Twitch (via MichelleYeoh.info).
428AD, Bodhi, a Southern India prince became a Buddhist monk and set off for China, earning a hallowed reputation as a mystical martial artist. Following his death, his remains mysteriously disappeared.
Hundreds of years later, Zhang, a high-ranking court official, is assassinated by Drizzle. Zhang’s son Jingxiu, whilst mourning his father’s death, is assailed by a group assassins. They leave him for dead, but somehow he survives and escapes their clutches.
Drizzle, a talented warrior herself, finds herself in possession of Bodhi’s remains, and begins her quest to return them to their rightful resting place at Yunhe Temple. The Black Stone, a team of deadly assassins who employed Drizzle, are also after the remains and the powerful secret they hold. To hide from The Black Stone, Drizzle undergoes drastic facial surgery and changes her name to Zeng Jing (Michelle Yeoh). She flees to Beijing, where she meets and falls in love with Jiang, soon to become her husband.
After a confrontation in Beijing, Zeng Jing’s identity is uncovered and both she and Jiang must flee for their lives. As Zeng Jing kills off members of the gang while they are on the run, she quickly realizes Jiang is actually Jingxiu, and he is seeking to avenge his father’s death. This leads to a lethal triangle and a fight to death between our hero Zeng Jing, Jiang and The Black Stone.
The only question remains who will be the last ones standing to uncover the secret of Bodhi’s remains?
Starring Michelle Yeoh, Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu, Kelly Lin, Shawn Yu, Angeles Woo and Wang Xueq.
Look for it later this year.