To say that Oscar-winning director Ang Lee’s martial arts action drama Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was considered a success upon its 2000 release would be something of an understatement. The film, which involved two warriors in pursuit of the legendary Green Destiny sword and a mysterious nemesis, was one of the few foreign-language films in recent years to cross over into the North American mainstream, earning $128 million at the U.S. box office and four Academy Awards.
So when news broke that a sequel was finally being developed, fan reactions were decidedly mixed. Regardless, this new film - reportedly titled Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Destiny – is inching towards production with both returning star Michelle Yeoh and action icon Donnie Yen (Ip Man) starring and director/stunt choreographer Woo-ping Yuen at the helm. Now we can add another cast member to the project.
According to THR, Harry Shum Jr., best known for his role as Mike Chang on Fox’s Glee, has joined the cast of the film as one of the four leads alongside Yeoh and Yen. Set 20 years after the first film, the sequel will see a group of warriors once again attempt to retrieve the Green Destiny sword from a sinister foe.
Shum’s casting in a martial arts film may at first seem odd to fans, considering his most famous role is from a musical series. However, Glee fans likely remember that his character is far more renowned for his dance moves than his singing voice. Actually, Shum is a trained dancer and choreographer, having appeared in dance-centric films like the Step Up series. It’s actually his physical grace and agility that the Crouching Tiger sequel will tap into, and in this respect, Shum may be a fitting addition to the cast.
Still, it’s hard to imagine that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2 will pack the same emotional punch or artistry as the original film. Sure, this new film boasts Yeoh’s return to one of her most famous roles, and Yen is a worthy stand-in for the presence and precision that Chow Yun-Fat lent to the film. However, between the absence of original star Ziyi Zhang (who may appear only briefly in flashbacks) and especially the guiding hand of Lee’s directorial vision, this is one sequel that has an uphill battle ahead of it. Here’s hoping that the film can recreate the magic that led its predecessor to become a modern classic.
Are you excited for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2, or would you have preferred that the first film be left untouched? Let us know in the comments section below.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Destiny is currently in production. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates as this story develops.