Back at the turn of the millennium, Ang Lee’s stunning martial arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon earned multiple Oscar wins and hoards of fans, eventually making its way onto our “12 Greatest Martial Arts Movie Fight Scenes” list.

When it was announced that The Weinstein Company was making a sequel, many fans thought that it was simply a franchise-making cash grab. But with talented actors joining the sequel’s cast, and filming starting next month, the new installment could show some promise.

Deadline is reporting that China’s top action star Donnie Yen, who played martial arts legend Yip Man in Wilson Yip’s Ip Man and Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster, has closed a deal to star in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Destiny. The deal also marks Yen’s move from Paradigm over to his new agency, CAA. Yen was just recently seen in China in the 3D epic Monkey King, which set a record at the Chinese box office by making $41 million in ticket sales in a single day. Yen’s casting comes as no surprise considering that he appeared on a panel for the project at the Cannes Film Festival last May.

Woo-ping Yuen (True Legend) is directing the project with a script from John Fusco, whose resume includes scripts for Young Guns, Hidalgo and The Forbidden Kingdom. Michelle Yeoh will reprise her role as the tough yet suffering warrior Yu Shu Lien from the original film.

As for the content of the sequel, since Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was based on the fourth book in Chinese author Wang Dulu’s “Crane Iron Pentalogy,” it’s only natural that this project draws its story from the fifth and final book, “Iron Knight, Silver Vase.” Dulu’s  fifth novel follows the adventures of Jen Yu (Ziyi Zhang’s character in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Iron Knight, the son of Lo/Dark Cloud (Chen Chang’s character), who is switched at birth with a baby girl known as  Silver Vase.

Entertainment Weekly reported late last year that Zhang’s role would most likely be portrayed through flashback scenes that explain what happened to her character after the ambiguous ending to Lee’s movie.

With the lead casting of Yen and Yeoh and appearances from Zhang, at least the cast of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Destiny is looking pretty solid. Now can we please work on that title? Obviously they want to maintain some kind of familiarity with the original so that casual audiences won’t be confused or ambivalent, but what’s so wrong with calling the film Iron Knight, Silver Vase? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was an eyebrow-raising title back in the day, but word of mouth soon made it a household name.

What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Are you looking forward to the sequel?

We’ll keep you updated on more Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Destiny news as it becomes available.

Follow Casey on Twitter @CaseyCip

Source: Deadline