The Weinstein Company has announced today that production on “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny” will begin in March of 2014 in Asia. Yuen Wo Ping is set to direct after serving as a choreographer on the original film, which was directed by Ang Lee and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning four.
Yuen Wo Ping helped make Jackie Chan a star, directing films like “Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow” and “Drunken Master.” The Wachowski siblings also tapped him for fight choreography on their 1999 cyberpunk extravaganza “The Matrix” and subsequent installments of the trilogy, as did Quentin Tarantino for his “Kill Bill” films.
The sequel will see Michelle Yeoh reprise her role as Yu Shu Lien. She’ll be joined by Donnie Yen in the role of Silent Wolf.
“I loved Ang Lee”s film,” TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said via press release. “I thought it was a master class in directing, but I know we are in fantastic hands with Yuen Wo Ping directing the second installment of ‘Crouching Tiger.’ Master Yuen worked with me on ‘Iron Monkey,’ ‘Kill Bill’ and now ‘Grandmaster.’ He is a first-class director and choreographer, and I am thrilled to be teaming up with him once more. With John Fusco”s incredible script and the dream team of Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh we are in great shape.”
Fusco’s script is based on “Iron Knight, Silver Vase” by Wang Du Lu, the fifth book in the “Crane-Iron Pentalogy” series on which Ang Lee’s film was based. Previously the film had “Freddy vs. Jason” helmer Ronny Yu attached for a May 2013 start date, but obviously things have shifted up and the Weinsteins are going ahead with Yuen Wo Ping. Perhaps it’s serendipity, given his connection with the original.
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” scooped up $213 million worldwide and is still the biggest hit Sony Pictures Classics ever had. It is still to this day far and away the highest grossing foreign film in the US, having made $128 million on these shores.
Harvey Weinstein, Donnie Yen and Yuen Wo Ping will be participating in a press conference Saturday in Cannes to discuss further details of the production.