That “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” sequel you've been waiting for is finally coming – to Netflix.
In a landmark deal, the streaming service has just contracted with The Weinstein Company to bring belated followup “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend” exclusively to Netflix, thereby bypassing a traditional theatrical release (though the film will simultaneously be available for viewing in IMAX theaters). A quasi-sequel to the 2000 martial-arts blockbuster, the film will be unleashed August 28, 2015 as the first major feature to debut exclusively on the on-demand platform.
“Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy and amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredible beauty,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. “We are honored to be working with Harvey Weinstein and a world-class team of creators to bring this epic story to people all over the world and to partner with IMAX, a brand that represents the highest quality of immersive entertainment, in the distribution of this film.”
Based on the fifth book in author Wang Du Lu's “Crane Iron” series of novels, the Yuen Wo-Ping-directed sequel is already shooting in New Zealand with returning stars Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen from a script by John Fusco (“Hidalgo,” “The Forbidden Kingdom”). The first film, directed to widespread critical acclaim by Ang Lee, was an adaptation of the fourth novel.
“The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement,” said Weinstein Company co-chairman Harvey Weinstein in a statement. “We are tremendously excited to be continuing our great relationship with Netflix and bringing to fans all over the world the latest chapter in this amazing and intriguing story.”
TWC is already partnering with Netflix on the upcoming event series “Marco Polo,” which was also written by Fusco and stars Lorenzo Richelmy as the title character. In addition, their library of films is currently available for streaming to Netflix subscribers.
Made on a reported budget of $17 million, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” became a breakout success during the 2000 holiday season in the U.S., with the film ultimately grossing over $213 million at the worldwide box office. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film the following year.
What do you think of the “Crouching Tiger 2” Netflix deal? Let us know in the comments.