Cutting movies in half is very hip these days. Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and now…John Woo? Yes, the director of Hard Boiled, The Killer and Face/Off made a two-parter in 2008 with Red Cliff, and he’s doing it again this year with The Crossing. An epic romance set against the tragedy of a capsized ferry in 1949, it stars Zhang Ziyi and was written by Melody Wang, who wrote Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Now, that might sound like it’s John Woo’s Titanic, but it’s much bigger than that. The Crossing is a romance, a disaster film, a war film and more all rolled into one. It truly looks epic.
In China, The Crossing Part 1 opens in December and The Crossing Part 2 opens May 2015. There’s no U.S. release date yet. But, based on this trailer, I hope it gets one soon. Read More »
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After years away from the big screen, John Woo is back this year — at least in China — with The Crossing. The first installment of the two-part film hits China in December. The movie is set in 1949 and will tell the stories of three couples whose lives intersect on the doomed Taiping steamer. The ship was carrying many hundreds of passengers from China and the last days of the communist-dominated Civil War, to new lives in Taiwan. All aboard were doomed, and the ship has been called the “Chinese Titanic” as a result. This first Crossing trailer introduces many of the people on board, albeit without subtitles. Check out the footage below. Read More »
John Woo has been quiet for several years as he dealt with throat cancer, and as government script approval was delayed for his latest film, but he’s ready to return to cinema screens with a new two-part epic. Much as his last major effort, Red Cliff, was a two-part tale drawn from Chinese history, so too The Crossing is a period piece split into two parts. (Between the two projects, Woo also co-directed Reign of Assassins.)
The Crossing is very different from Red Cliff in other respects, however. It is set in 1949, and follows the stories and fates of the passengers of the steamer Taiping, which sank with as many as 1500 passengers on board. (The ship is often called “the Chinese Titanic,” because of the number of casualties.) Now the first film is set for a December release in China, meaning we can perhaps expect to see it in 2015. Read More »
Sylvester Stallone played a little game with his Twitter followers Tuesday and the result was his disclosure of the director for The Expendables 3. That name? Patrick Hughes, best known for the small Australian film Red Hill, which starred True Blood‘s Ryan Kwatten. Check out Sly’s tweets below. Read More »
I learned of Jean-Pierre Melville‘s super-cool, ultra-controlled gangster movie Le Samouraï from John Woo. In my defense, it was the ’90s, I was young, and Woo’s highly stylized films A Better Tomorrow, The Killer and Hard Boiled had me reading every possible interview with the director. It was probably in the pages of Asian Trash Cinema where I first found Woo extolling the virtues and influence of Melville’s film.
Years later, the director began to talk actively of remaking Melville’s movie, and that project is still in play to some extent. In a new reeport, Woo says that the script is being worked on now, and that German financing will be one big reason to transplant the action from Paris to Berlin. Read More »
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Lots and lots of filmmakers and actors talking about their upcoming films in this edition of Sequel Bits. After the jump, read quotes about the followin:
- J.J. Abrams gives a brief update of the development of Mission: Impossible 5.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t sure of when Terminator 5 might happen…
- …but seems excited about playing Conan in The Legend of Conan.
- Playmate Crystal McCahill posted some photos from the set of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
- Sorry everyone, William Shatner does not appear in Star Trek Into Darkness.
- A Good Day To Die Hard will get a Dolby Atmos sound mix.
- Actor Rodrigo Santoro talks the story of 300: Rise of an Empire.
- Tom Selleck is still planning on doing Three Men and a Bride.
- John Woo would like to direct a third Expendables film, but has some demands.
Read More »
Typically, it’s the French New Wave that gets all the news, but Japan had its own New Wave in the ’60s, and one of the key players, whether he would have said as much or not, was Suzuki Seijun. The director worked for Nikkatsu studios, and in the ’60s he started to crank out studio films that grew weirder with each release. One of the formative films in that period was Youth of the Beast, starring the chipmunk-cheeked Shishido Joe.
Though not as wild as some of Suzuki’s later films, Youth of the Beast is a great, weird film. And now it will be remade by John Woo, who will call his version Day of the Beast. Rob Frisbee scripted, and Woo’s long-time producer Terence Chang will produce. Ironically, while Nikkatsu eventually fired Suzuki for his increasingly eccentric films, this production is part of the studio’s 100th Anniversary.
After the break, there’s a trailer for the original Youth of the Beast, and we’ve got some news on the new version of Carrie, and one of the prime movers behind the original Little Shop of Horrors speaks about the new film version of that story. Read More »
There has long been talk of a remake of John Woo‘s standard-setting 1989 action film The Killer. The movie was one of the pictures that focused international attention on both the director and his star Chow Yun-Fat, and it had great influence on action movies that followed. It’s a film that I can vividly remember seeing for the first time, even twenty years later.
Now whether we like it or not a new version — in 3D no less — is really happening, and true to statements they’ve dropped over the years, John Woo and his producing partner Terence Chang are behind it. Read More »
John Woo is in the middle of what might be a renaissance. It’s too early to really make that call, but he’s more active now in the wake of Red Cliff than he’s been in the past few years. And more active with interesting projects — if you haven’t seen Red Cliff it is definitely worth the time; Reign of Assassins looks promising; and there’s the IMAX film Flying Tigers that Woo is preparing to make.
But the spectre of trouble looms. A Variety piece on the director announces that “Woo is hoping to line up A-list talent for his English-language remakes of two hugely influential action films”: Le Samourai and his own The Killer. Read More »