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12:26 pm - 01/26/2013

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel on its way – without Ang Lee


After a gap of more than 12 years, a sequel to the international martial arts hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is being readied – but without the participation of the original's director, Ang Lee.


A report on Deadline.com suggests that the Weinstein Company are moving ahead with the follow-up after settling a rights row over the source material, the five-strong series of the Crane-Iron novels by Chinese writer Wang Dulu, who died in 1977. Crouching Tiger was based largely on the fourth in Wang's series, while the sequel will be based on the fifth, titled Iron Knight, Silver Vase.


According to the report, John Fusco, writer of Jet Li's The Forbidden Kingdom, has been hired to write the script, and producer Harvey Weinstein has approached veteran Hong Kong director Ronny Yu – best known for The Bride With White Hair – to take the reins.


The suggestion is that the sequel will centre on Yu Shu Lien, the character played by Michelle Yeoh in the first film – although according to the plot summary provided by Yeoh herself on her website, the central character in Iron Knight, Silver Vase is Yu Jiao Long (played by Zhang Ziyi).


In any case, Fusco says that, as with Lee's film, material will be drawn from elsewhere in the pentalogy. "This introduces a new generation of star-crossed lovers, and a new series of antagonists in a battle of good and evil … 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." No word is forthcoming as to whether any of the actors from the film will be returning for the sequel.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon remains the highest-grossing non-English-language film at the US box office, having taken more than $128m. It also won the Academy Award for best foreign-language film in 2001.


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