Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's marial arts epicness earned it a place at the top of our "Best Martial Arts Fight Scenes" list, and Ang Lee's multi-Oscar-winning film still remains a favorite of moviegoers worldwide.
That said Crouching Tiger was a pretty self-contained cinematic tale - which is why eybrows are sure to be raised by the news that The Weinstein Company is gearing up to start production on the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel (which could be titled Iron Knight, Silver Vase - but more on that later...).
Deadline reports that the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel is set to start filming this May in Asia. Ang Lee is not coming back to direct the sequel; he could be replaced by Ronny Yu, who is currently in talks with TWC. Yu directed the 2006 Jet Li film, Fearless - but he also directed Freddy vs. Jason, Bride of Chucky, and the action flick Formula 51 (aka, Samuel L. Jackson in a kilt). Basically, three films that have gained something of a cult following for being terrible.
It's not necessarily a known fact to the average moviegoer, but even though Crouching Tiger seems like a self-contained story, it is in fact part of a five-volume series of books written by early twentieth century Chinese author, Wang Dulu. In order of story chronology, Crouching Tiger is actually the fourth book; it is followed by the concluding book, Iron Knight, Silver Vase, which will be the basis of this sequel film.
Handling script duties is John Fusco, who is best known for writing films like Young Guns, Hidalgo and The Forbidden Kingdom (another film that made our "Best Martial Arts Scenes" list). Those aforementioned Fusco projects all came with a solid mix of action, adventure and heart, which is encouraging for this Silver Vase project - even if the choice of director is not. Added bonus: Fusco is a fan of Wu Xia, the Chinese genre of storytelling (about wandering heroes like those seen in Crouching Tiger), so this is a passion project for him.
No casting news yet, but there is speculation that acclaimed Crouching Tiger fight choreographer Wo Ping Yuen (The Matrix) could return for the sequel.
Aside from Fusco (and Wo Ping possibly turning) this project seems to be teetering on the line between legitimate sequel and franchise cash-grab; to that point, The Weinstein Company and Sony were once battling for the rights to Wang Dulu's work, as the late author's family felt they were not sufficiently compensated for Lee's movie. Deadline notes that the Weinstein's "feel" they secured the rights - but the possibility of a legal challenge doesn't seem to be out of the question.
The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel (titled Iron Knight, Silver Vase?) will start production in Summer 2013; a release date is unknown at this point.