Asian Editor; Hong Kong, China (@Marshy00)
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Deadline is reporting that The Weinstein Company feels confident enough it has secured the theatrical rights to Wang Du Lu's Crane-Iron Pentalogy series of novels that it is readying production on a sequel to 2000's international smash hit, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That film, directed by Ang Lee and winner of four Oscars including Best Foreign Language Film, was the fourth in the series, and TWC is hoping to get its adaptation of book five, Silver Vase, Iron Knight up and running as early as this May.

There is already a finished script, courtesy of The Forbidden Kingdom writer John Fusco, and the Weinsteins' are apparently courting Hong Kong director Ronny Yu to helm the sequel. Yu is currently in post-production on his upcoming Chinese-language epic, Saving General Yang, which will most likely make its debut at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in March, but there is no word yet whether any of Crouching Tiger's original cast will return. Silver Vase, Iron Knight does continue the story of Michelle Yeoh's character, Yu Shu Lien, and the actress will likely be keen to reprise her role after her career of-late has failed to capitalise on that film's success.

Fusco is quoted as describing the film thus: "This introduces a new generation of star-crossed lovers, and a new series of antagonists in a battle of good and evil. It has a Knights Errant quality. There is an alternate universe in the books, a martial forest that exists alongside the real world, full of wandering sword fighters, medicine men, defrocked priests, poets, sorcerers and Shaolin renegades." Fusco also stated that he expects veteran martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo Ping to return.

TWC's recent track record of acquiring and distributing Asian martial arts dramas has been less than exemplary, but it seems logical that they would pounce on the opportunity to finance, have final cut, and full distribution rights to a sequel to one of the most successful foreign language films of the last twenty years. There is no information at the moment, but we can expect Fusco's English-language screenplay will be back-translated into Mandarin for the production, as was the case with James Schamus' script for Crouching Tiger. What will be most interesting is to see if TWC is willing to enter into a co-production with a Chinese production company in the hope of securing the film wide distribution on the Mainland, or if they opt to take their chances with SARFT after going it alone. 
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hutchJanuary 24, 2013 9:46 PM

dear gawd, no.

hutchJanuary 24, 2013 9:51 PM

the term "new generation" when applied to an established franchise always sends non-sexy shivers down my spine.

hutchJanuary 24, 2013 10:00 PM

Fusco wrote? Sweet. Who's playing the lead white dude that's better at kung fu than the Chinese themselves?

IronsJanuary 25, 2013 5:57 AM

If you're referring to The Forbidden Kingdom it's not fair : Angarano gets his ass kicked several times in the film, and only ever beats a bully in his American world.

QinlongJanuary 25, 2013 6:02 AM

Actually I much prefer Ronny Yu to Ang Lee, and this is adapted from a series of books so why not ! But I hope the cast won't include Lucy Liu, Jamie Chung, Will Yun-Lee or Rick Yune. And Michelle Yeoh needs to come back.

hutchJanuary 25, 2013 11:52 AM

I'm referring to Hollywood and their tendency to make white kids the center of every universe. And TFK IS fair game. did a film starring the first ever pairing of Jackie Chan and Jet Li need a nameless white kid at all? I ask you. I loved Fusco's Young Guns II script, but man he needs to stick to the West.

hutchJanuary 25, 2013 11:54 AM

I like Ronny Yu in the Hong Kong system. I'll bleach my eyeballs before I watch another of his stabs at Hollywood.

hutchJanuary 25, 2013 11:54 AM

Cloud Atlas was adapted from a book too.

QinlongJanuary 25, 2013 5:12 PM

I meant that the fact that it will be adapted from a book sequel, gives it more legitimacy as a film sequel.

IronsJanuary 25, 2013 6:01 PM

Haha, I agree The Forbidden Kingdom did NOT need Angarano. But still I can endlessly watch him get his ass kicked by Li Bing Bing...

tman418January 25, 2013 6:11 PM

"Fusco also stated that he expects veteran martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo Ping to return."

Let's hope that this "expectation" turns into a reality! He is by far the best fight choreographer in the action film industry, literally right up there with Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, and Panna Rittikrai/Tony Jaa (I lump those 2 together because I know that Tony Jaa did collaborate in the choreography. After all, Jaa was doing the fights and stunts). Sorry Jet Li, you ain't nothin without Woo Ping.

hutchJanuary 25, 2013 7:52 PM

I don't care about the film itself. I just think team behind it is ill suited to make it a worthwhile venture. My point about CA is that, book adaption can suck. Bad.

hutchJanuary 25, 2013 7:56 PM

Don't sneeze at Jung Do-Hong. But yeah, Woo-Ping is great-which is why I hope he focuses on bringing Hong Kong back to greatness. Screw the 'wood.