John Woo’s ‘Red Cliff’ Gets U.S. Distribution

Published 6 years ago by

red cliff John Woos Red Cliff Gets U.S. Distribution

Red Cliff is director John Woo’s latest film, a sweeping epic about the historic Battle of Red Cliffs that stars Tony Leung, an actor considered to be Hong Kong’s equivalent to Robert De Niro (well, when he was in his prime). It is a film that has been released in lots of markets already over the past ten months or so, with Part I first released in Mainland China last July, and Part II in January this year.

Other places that it has reached are Japan, Singapore and South Korea, with the only non-Asian locations being France (released in March this year). The UK is releasing Red Cliff next month. But up until this point the United States, has been omitted from the release schedule, for reasons unknown. However: finally news comes that the U.S. of A will be getting to see John Woo’s Red Cliff!

The US distribution rights were acquired by Magnet Releasing (the genre label of Magnolia Pictures) at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and Red Cliff is planned for release sometime this fall. No official release date has been set, but it is planned to be combined into one two-and-a-half hour movie (instead of two separate parts, as most of the rest of the world got), with plans for an eventual video-on-demand and DVD release.

To expand on the historical events that the movie is based on (thanks to the movie tells, “the sprawling tale of the battle of Red Cliff, in which the imperial army took on warlords throughout the Chinese empire in a period at the end of the Han Dynasty.” That certainly sounds like am ambitious film for even someone like Woo to take on.

For a quick taste of the film, check out the goergous poster and the trailer:

red cliff poster John Woos Red Cliff Gets U.S. Distribution

I have to say I am not happy with the fact that they’re releasing (both in the US and in the UK) a shortened, two-and-a-half hour version of Red Cliff, rather than the original, two-part version that comes to a total of 4 hours and 40 minutes. Do the math: that’s over two hours cut out. That’s a lot of Woo’s vision that people in the US and the UK won’t get to see, short of traveling to Asia or importing the DVD.

Aside from the slimmed length, I can’t wait to see Woo’s latest sure-to-be-stunning piece of cinema. Visually I’m sure it will be a sight to behold. Even with sillier fare, such as Face/Off (which is just a blast to sit through), he still has a penchant for providing good entertainment.

The inclusion of the brilliant Leung doesn’t hurt, either.

So are you looking forward to Red Cliff? Are you okay with the fact that we will get the shortened version?

No official release date has been set for Red Cliff as of yet, but a fall 2009 is being aimed for.

Source: FirstShowing & Trailer Addict

TAGS: Red cliff
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  1. It must have PAINED John Woo to not be able to have a protagonist with long hair blowing in the wind wearing sunglasses and a trenchcoat while dual wielding pistols and shooting while jumping sideways in slow motion and white doves are flying in slow motion in the background…

    But he did put that white dove in the title at the end, lol. So we know they’re in there!

    And is it just me or does this seem like Dynasty Warriors: The Movie? lol

  2. There’s a pretty good website that’s already reviewed the two parts of Asia’s release:

    (of course there are some spoilers so read at your own risk)

    review of pt 1
    review of pt 2

    Apparently it’s been well reviewed particularly the second part.

    As long as they release the full asian version on dvd here in north america I won’t mind that the non-asian one will be shortened.

    Honestly no matter how much better the movie is in its original form I don’t think non-asian audiences would want to sit for over 4 hours of a subtitled movie. Unfortunately even though I would like it to be released in 2 parts like in Asia, North America probably views this as a risk not worth taking.

  3. That’s kind of true about the two part thing, but then again, they can release just one now, and then the second later like a “Sequel.” But for me, it has nothing to do with it being shortened or that it’s long, or anything, I am not too interested in it because John Woo is directing…

  4. So This is Basically Romance of the Three Kingdoms/Dynasty Warriors?

  5. With white doves and slow motion.

  6. @ ken J

    ROFL. You know that’s his trade mark. LOL.

  7. @vid,

    They did it with Che: they split that into two parts, which was a wise decision as I don’t think people would have sat through the four and a half hours that it was when it put together.

    They could do the same for Red Cliff.

  8. I was waiting for someone to make a movie about the Han Dynasty. I’m glad it was John Woo who did it too.

  9. Will this version be Dubbed in english or just with subtitles?

  10. i’m disappointed that i can’t see the full 2 part version in a US release (i learned only about the movie from visiting Japan this past August!) i think the shortened 1 film version can still do the movie justice for most US audiences, but as a history junkie, i still want to see the whole shebang somehow. will figure out a way!

  11. I live the US and I’ve seen the 4 hour long one. I am a bit mad with fact that the US version is half the length, but I can see why not all Americans are history junkies. even with the long lenth of flim it should not be shorten. oh and it is more like Romance of the three kingdom then Dynasty warriors.