Here we go again! One of my favorite (and by favorite I mean least-favorite) things the big ole Hollywood machine can do: sequelize and franchise everything. And since The Weinstein Company and Miramax penned a deal allowing them to do such a thing back in 2010, no movie is safe. You might've thought "eh, we're nearly three years out from that deal: [insert favorite movie here] is probably safe." And well, we hate to break it to you, but you might've thought wrong.
Because here comes the sequel you maybe forgot you wanted (or possibly don't!): Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The acclaimed 2000 Chinese film picked up a bevy of awards (I believe the technical term is "all of the awards, ever, jeez") when the Ang Lee made its way into the hearts and theaters of critics everywhere. So it's no surprise that Harvey and friends would want to capitalize on that sort of success, but, ugh, do we have to? Whatever happend to leaving well enough alone?
It seems as though Weinstein and Sony don't particularly care either way, as Deadline is reporting that filming is already slated to begin in May. The film, based on a series of books by the author Du Lu Wang more commonly known as the Crane-Iron Series (of which there are five), will continue to be set in Asia. As for the story? Well, the project already has a script from John Fusco and is courting director Ronny Yu to helm the production, said to be based on the series' fifth book Iron Knight, Silver Vase. It will continue to revolve around the character Yu Shu Lien (originated by Michelle Yeoh), and while it's not clear which actors will reprise roles, some are expected to do just that. "This introduces a new generation of star-crossed lovers, and a new series of antagonists in a battle of good and evil. ... 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," explained Fusco.
No word on if the sequel will be titled Pouncing Tiger, Visible Dragon, but there's always hope.
What do you think of the sequel news? Excited or over it? Sound off in the comments below!
[Photo Credit: Sony]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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The story of Lust Caution begins in the midst of WWII in Asia as the Japanese have a stranglehold on key areas of China including Shanghai and Hong Kong. The iron-fisted Chinese who are collaborating with the invaders are led by Mr. Yee (Tony Leung) a cruel and ruthless man who delights in the torture and murder of his fellow countrymen who are fighting against the Japanese occupation. When a patriotic band of college students (made up of four men and two women all part of the drama school) decide to strike a blow for Chinese freedom by assassinating Mr. Yee it falls to Wang (the mesmerizingly beautiful Wei Tang) to infiltrate his home and heart to pave the way for the killing. But as her compatriots--including handsome Kuang played by American-born Chinese rock star Lee-Hom Wang who loves her from afar--bid their time waiting for the moment to strike Mr. Yee and Wang enter into a torrid affair that begins to consume them both. Think of the Hitchcock classic Suspicion shift from Europe to Asia add in intensely explicit sex scenes and a completely unexpected ending and you have Lust Caution--a film that is soon to be considered a classic as well. Veteran actors Tony Leung and Joan Chen lead a fine cast of actors who together create this completely believable glimpse into Chinese culture during the dark days of Japanese occupation. Both give intense performances--he as the powerful emotionless Mr. Yee and she as his vapid shopping and Mah Jong-obsessed wife. But the most amazing performance is that of newcomer Wei Tang the Miss Universe finalist who makes her film debut in Lust Caution. Her fantastic face slim body and almost ethereal presence seem to blot out everyone else when she is on the screen; you can’t help but look at only her. Her transformation in the four-year span of the story is masterful. As she goes from a naïve young student to a mature woman whose physical obsession with a man she despises begins to overwhelm her. The ingénue proves that she is much more than just a pretty face. In fact she deserves an Academy Award nomination for her often subtle always fearless performance that is at the heart of the film. Ang Lee has a unique cinematic ability to begin a story very specific to a time a place and a culture and end with a universal tale that resonates across all societies and peoples. He did it beautifully with Sense and Sensibility Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon as well as Brokeback Mountain and he’s done it again masterfully with Lust Caution. This newest film is an intense look at how war often causes an individual to make the ultimate sacrifice for the common good yet it also explores another underlying theme: the idea that there is a never-ending battle between the sexes for emotional dominance within a sexual relationship. Ang Lee’s deft hand is evident in every frame including the incredibly explicit (and often violent) sex scenes that have given the film its NC-17 rating. But this is not pornography; every scene is necessary to the story showing us that using sex as a means to an end (no matter how noble that end) is a very dangerous game to play especially during wartime. Look for Ang Lee’s name to come up on the Academy’s list again this year as awards season kicks into high gear. He deserves every honor for this emotionally disturbing masterpiece.
Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat) is the most skilled martial artist in the region
yet after years of training and fighting he's ready to give it all up to
lead a new peaceful life. Only he's got two more challenges ahead of him:
love and a young mysterious thief with martial arts skills like he's never
seen. Before he can slip into retirement he attempts to make a deal with
the young thief: He'll become her master and polish her martial arts if
she'll turn from her evil ways.
Unlike most martial arts films this one is an equal-opportunity flick -
with the two female co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi doing the bulk
of the karate chopping. Their scenes are one of the many highlights
throughout this little gem which is told in the form of an ancient fantasy.
Fat's presence dominates the screen with his portrayal of a wise and highly
skilled martial artist who can deliver deadly damage to a foe with a single
finger jab. Ziyi's also delivers an impeccable performance of a character
who can be innocent at first glance but when provoked can unleash a flurry
of kicks jabs and tumbling acrobatics.
Ang Lee (The Ice Storm Eat Drink Man Woman) adds a very different film
to his impressive repertoire. Here he plays on his childhood fantasies in
Taiwan to create world of ancient martial artists who fly through the air
during their many fighting sequences. As corny as it may seem Lee's
character's supernatural abilities give these sequences an air of elegance
to the martial arts. And he's managed to skillfully blend the special
effects with a romantic subplot in China's beautifully spacious landscapes
of deserts and lush forests.