A new trailer has just been released for True Legend, an upcoming film by influential director and fight choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. Yuen made his name as a director back in the ’70s with movies like Drunken Master, but has recently focused more on action choreography, for films including The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Kill Bill and Kung Fu Hustle. True Legend is his first directorial effort since 1996. As you might guess, it is a martial arts actioner.

Vincent Zhao (Once Upon a Time in China), Zhou Xun, Jay Chou (Kato from The Green Hornet), Michelle Yeoh and David Carradine all star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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This one just came out of nowhere. For the past few months there had been word that Luc Besson might be planning a new epic romance or a massive sci-fi film. But now he’s shooting The Lady, which is a film about Burmese democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Michelle Yeoh plays the cultural heroine, who opposed military rule in Burma and spent much of the past twenty years under house arrest as a result. David Thewlis plays her husband, Michael Aris. That’s the first image from the film, above, and there are more after the break. Read More »

UPDATE: Variety reports that production has already wrapped in Thailand and the shoot is moving to London, after which two weeks’ work is scheduled in France. Original article follows.

While he’s spent much of the past decade working as a writer and producer, Luc Besson has directed a film here and there — the Arthur and the Invisibles movies, and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec for example. Lately he seems to be ramping up interest in directing even more movies. There was word of him shopping around an expensive love story, and of the possibility of a film that would be like “The Fifth Element to the power of ten.”

For now, however, it seems like he’s focusing on something completely different. He’s reportedly making a film called Into the Light, which will be a biopic of Aung San Suu Kyi, starring Michelle Yeoh. Read More »

There’s some big news on Ridley Scott‘s two-part prequel to his 1979 film Alien. First up, time to kill off the rumor that the project has been delayed: Fox says that there is no delay. (The interesting reason for the rumor is after the break.)

But more important, a report says that the first film is called Paradise, and that cast sought by Ridley Scott includes Michael Fassbender and Michelle Yeoh. More info on the character details and plot of the film are also after the break. And note that there are possible spoilers in the info that follows. Read More »

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It’s almost a great, hopefully not sad cosmic joke that Bob and Harvey Weinstein, so famous for buying and then either recutting or shelving Hong Kong films, will distribute John Woo‘s latest made-in-China effort, Reign of Assassins. The Weinstein Company announced today that it has pre-bought North and South American rights to the film, which was produced by John Woo and longtime partner Terence Chang, and co-directed by Woo and Su Chao-Pin, who also wrote. Read More »

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What a strange cast! Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom, the sequel to the 2008 DreamWorks animated adventure film, has just added three actors: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michelle Yeoh, and Victor Garber. The idea of Yeoh and Van Damme being in the film is entertaining, but when it will be only as voice actors? Perhaps slightly less so. OK, fine: Van Damme could be hilarious. Read More »

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Promo Reel for John Woo’s Reign of Assassins

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Leaving Hollywood was the best thing John Woo ever did for his career. After a string of action films of steadily declining quality, Woo made the Chinese epic Red Cliff, which landed on several critics top 10 lists of 2009. Now comes Reign of Assassins, a new film that Woo produced with longtime partner Terence Chang. We have the promo reel (via Twitch) after the jump. Assassins is written and directed by Su Chao-Pin, but the promo reel says that Woo “co-directed” it. Hit the jump to check out the reel and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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It doesn’t look like John Woo will be returning to Hollywood anytime soon. After a string of not-so-great Western films, Woo returned to China and delivered the massive two-part epic Red Cliff. I’ve only seen the first film of the Chinese release (haven’t yet seen the condensed most other countries got), and while it certainly isn’t perfect, it towers above anything Woo delivered while in Hollywood. Now we have a first look at his next project, Jianyu Jianghu (also known for now as Rain of Swords In The Pugilistic World), which stars Michelle Yeoh.

Woo will be co-directing the film with Su Chao-Bin (Silk, Better Than Sex). They’ll be joined by longtime producer bud Terrence Chang. The cast also includes Chang Chen, Kelly Lin, and Barbie Hsu.

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