Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee‘s Oscar-winning mystical martial arts romantic adventure with touching performances and astounding fight scenes choreographed by the great Yuen Wo Ping, was an international smash success when it was released in the final months of 2000. More than half of its $213.5 million worldwide box office take was made in the U.S. and later was honored with ten Academy Award nominations, four of which the film won including Best Foreign Film. Not since the release Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon nearly three decades before had a martial arts epic had such a widespread cultural impact. Many films attempted to emulate Crouching Tiger‘s style and global success, including Curse of the Golden Flower and House of Flying Daggers, with little or no luck.
Crouching Tiger had been based on the fourth novel in the Crane Iron Pentalogy by wuxia novelist Wang Dulu, leaving open the possibility of sequels. The family of Dulu, who died in 1977, saw very little money from the box office take of the movie, so they were reluctant to make a deal for the rights to the other novels in the Crane Iron series with Sony, the distributor of Crouching Tiger. After a drawn-out battle the Weinstein Company emerged triumphant with the rights and now plans to begin production on an untitled sequel this May. The movie will be based on Silver Vase, Iron Knight, the fifth novel in the Pentalogy, and John Fusco, the screenwriter of Young Guns and Hidalgo among others, has been retained for scripting duties.
It would appear that something of a rebellion is underway by major movie studios who are usually expected to show off big and exciting things from their upcoming slate every year at San Diego Comic-Con. A growing number of said studios have declared that they will not be attending Comic-Con this summer, and others are still pondering whether the yearly geek mecca is worth their time and promotional efforts.
The New York Times is reporting that among the studios who have decided not to show up at Comic-Con this year are Warner Brothers, Walt Disney, DreamWorks, and The Weinstein Company. Even bigger might be Marvel — likely the most expected to show up and promote The Avengers — who is apparently still “on the fence” as to if they want to attend this summer’s convention.
Bob Weinstein, head of The Weinstein Company with his brother Harvey, has announced to the LA Times that they are already developing a third chapter in the re-booted Halloween franchise, that they will be calling Halloween 3-D — a loving tip o’ the cap to ’80s horror threequels.
Shock rocker turned film maker Rob Zombie directed the first two movies in the resurrected franchise, but decided a while back that Halloween II (which opened this weekend) would be his last work in this world. Not to waste any time at all, the Weinsteins say that they already have another director lined up and in-negotiations, who does have experience with horror movies, and has an entirely new vision for Michael Myers — which means this may already be an whole new reboot within the reboot.
Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic The Seven Samurai is undoubtedly the greatest samurai film ever made, so the news that The Weinstein Company was planning a remake was not exactly well-received by fans. But John Fusco, who was hired to script the updated version, told Geeks of Doom that his story is not a remake, but rather a re-imagining.
“I would never be crazy enough to attempt to write a remake of one of the greatest films of all time,” Fusco said in a recent interview with Geeks of Doom while promoting the upcoming DVD release for The Forbidden Kingdom. “It is simply a re-imagining.”
Kurosawa’s original film took place in feudal Japan, where a group of seven masterless samurai warriors are hired by a village of poor farmers to protect them from maraudering bandits. In 1960, director John Sturges remade the film into a Western set in Mexico called The Magnificent Seven which replaced the samurai with hired U.S. gunmen. Fusco’s re-imagining will also nix the samurai in favor of a modern-day tale of Blackwater-like paramilitary contractors defending a Northern Thailand town from an imminent attack.