Movie Talk

Weinstein Company sets May start for ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ sequel

Zhang Ziyi in 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' (Photo: Everett)

It looks like it's time to reinvent the martial arts genre once again.

It's all about the surprises today as the Weinstein Company has come forth to announce that not only is the studio going forward with a sequel to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," it will supposedly be ready to start principal photography as early as this spring.

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000), set in the Qing Dynasty in 1779, follows two warriors (Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh) on a quest to reclaim a stolen sword who cross paths with Jen (Zhang Ziyi), a rebellious and extremely skilled nobleman's daughter. The Ang Lee-directed film won four Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film, and made an international superstar out of the gorgeous Ziyi.

The film was based on the fourth novel in the Crane Iron Pentalogy, written by Wang Dulu. The sequel will be based on "Silver Vase, Iron Knight," the fifth book in the series, which revolves around Yu Shu Lien, played by Michelle Yeoh in "Crouching Tiger."

The screenplay is set to be penned by John Fusco ("The Forbidden Kingdom"), who is an avid follower of Wu Sia, the centuries-old genre of Chinese fiction of which the series is a part.

"This introduces a new generation of star-crossed lovers, and a new series of antagonists in a battle of good and evil," Fusco said to Deadline. "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. It's so vast and rich, and 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."

The director's chair is being offered to Ronny Yu, who is probably best known stateside for his gleefully insane horror outings, "Bride of Chucky" (1998) and "Freddy vs. Jason" (2003). Ang Lee will not be involved with the film, though famed martial arts choreographer, Wo Ping Yuen, is expected to return.

It's currently unknown whether any of the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" cast members will return to reprise their roles, but it's highly likely. For now, we can commence with new dreams of leaping, kicking, floating, scaling walls and all of that other amazing stuff that first blew our minds almost 13 years ago.