When you think of the Oscars, you usually think about movies that have dramatic performances embedded in them, movies that are less style and more substance. But in 2001, the Academy Awards actually voted for a movie that contained great acting as well as great fighting in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
It was unheard of then for a kung fu film with more wires than Fat Bastard’s stunt crew team to be on the receiving end of so many Oscar awards. But it won, and it won big. Scooping up Oscars for best foreign language film, art direction, original score and cinematography, the movie is a high-kickin’ masterpiece. And seeing as how it uses Kung Fu to send a message of love, loss and lust, it’s high time that a sequel was made.
Unfortunately, original director Ang Lee won’t be involved this time around. Instead, the sequel producers are looking to grab Ronny “Fearless” Yu to film some tree top battles to the death, based off of a script from John Fusco that adapts the fifth book in the series, Silver Vase Iron Knight, that Crouching Tiger was based on.
The sequel will focus on Yu Shu, who was portrayed by Michelle Yeoh in the 2001 original film, although there is no word yet as to whether or not the actress will return. “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.
Now that the Weinstein company has dealt Sony a Buddha Palm attack in the legal department over the rights to this potential franchise, they’re ready to move ahead. They’ve got $20 million to spend on a swords and sandals sequel, and here’s hoping that Yu and Fusco can whip up something that recaptures the magic of the first film.