As Hollywood would say, if it makes money, keep doing it! Then, even when it stops making money, keep doing it anyway, in case it starts making money all over again! In this case, Chinese historical martial arts epics happen to be making money, so they’re doing the only logical thing they can — they’re making more of it. After 2008 offered up a full slate of such big-budget costume actioners (“The Warlords”, “An Empress and the Warriors”, “Resurrection of the Dragon”, John Woo’s “Red Cliff”), some more successful than others, 2009 has gotten its first: “The Warrior and the Wolf”, which will star Maggie Q. (who was also in “Resurrection”), and be directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang.
The Maggie Q. role originally belonged to Tang Wei of “Lust, Caution” fame, but after that fame turned into infamy when the actress was ban from all Mainland Chinese outlet for, er, being very naked and hairy in Ang Lee’s movie, it would seem a wise financial decision to replace her with Q, less the filmmakers be denied the entire Mainland Chinese market. Or at least that’s what Variety seems to be angling at.
Pic, a combat epic about two warriors in ancient China, has already begun shooting in Xinjiang province, with an eye to a late 2009 release. It also stars Japan’s Joe Odagiri (“Tokyo Tower,” “Shinobi – Heart Under Blade) and Taiwan’s Tou Chung-hua (“Lust, Caution,” “July Rhapsody.”)
It sounds very much like yet another big-budget Pan-Asian production that will be marketed at the entire continent, a must nowadays unless you want to count on just one country for your ticket sales.
“The Warrior and the Wolf” howls in 2009.
Below: So why just “Maggie Q.”? Because “Maggie P.” was taken?