Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution Netflix and Marvel Shake Up TCAs, Amazon Rescues Bryan Cranston Pilot Netflix and Marvel Shake Up TCAs, Amazon Rescues Bryan Cranston Pilot 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A)

John Woo's First Film in Four Years, 'The Crossing,' Begins Production in China

Thompson on Hollywood By David Chute | Thompson on Hollywood July 8, 2013 at 3:55PM

Wonderful news for fans of one the greatest directors ever of heartfelt male-bonding action movies: Director John Woo has begun production in China and Taiwan on "The Crossing," his first film since the completion four years ago of the astonishing historical epic "Red Cliff."
2
Teaser poster for John Woo's "The Crossing"
Teaser poster for John Woo's "The Crossing"

Wonderful news for fans of one the greatest directors ever of heartfelt male-bonding action movies: Director John Woo has begun production in China and Taiwan on "The Crossing," his first film since the completion four years ago of the astonishing historical epic "Red Cliff."

A combination of health issues and some difficulties winning script approval from Chinese authorities partly account for the four year hiatus. "The Crossing," previously known as "1949," has subject matter that could certainly be sensitive in China: it depicts the voyage of three refugee couples from mainland China to Taiwan during the War of Liberation. Woo is working from a script by Wang Hui-ling, who co-wrote "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and “Lust Caution” for Ang Lee. According to Variety's Patrick Frater

"The $40 million two-part movie is backed by rising Chinese studio Beijing Galloping Horse, along with China FilmGroup and Zhejiang Huace Film & TV, with production by Woo and Terence Chang’s Lion Rock Productions. Woo and Chang have assembled a pan-Asian, all-star cast headed by Tong Dawei, Zhang Ziyi, Huang Xiaoming, South Korea’s Song Hye-kyo, Taiwan’s Takeshi Kaneshiro and Japan’s Masami Nagasawa."

The Flying Tigers circa 1941
The Flying Tigers circa 1941

Woo was already a veteran Hong Kong director with fourteen mostly comic films to his credit when he rejuvenated his career and attracted an international fan following in the 1980s, collaborating with actor Chow Yun-fat on hugely influential and super-violent gangster/gunplay films such as "A Better Tomorrow" (1986), "The Killer" (1989) and "Hard-Boiled" (1992). Woo made his Hollywood debut in 1993 with the Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle "Hard Target," followed by "Broken Arrow" (1996), "Face/Off" (1997), "Mission: Impossible II" (2000) and "Windtalkers" (2002).


The filmmaker returned to China to make "Red Cliff," released in two parts in 2008 and 2009, an epic adaptation of the Chinese literary classic "Three Kingdoms," which was widely regarded as a return to form for the director and as one of his best films. "Crossing" star Takeshi Kaneshiro played one of the three leading roles, along with Tony Leung Chiu-wai ("In the Mood for Love") and Zhang Feng-yi ("The Emperor and the Assassin").

Woo already has his next production underway, the long-in-the-works World War II drama "Flying Tigers." Subject is the famed 1st American Volunteer group, a collection of US flyers from three branches of the service who aided China's defense against the Japanese from a base in Kunming, in the Southwestern province of Yunnan.


According Terence Chang, "The Crossing" began shooting July 8 on the Scenic Studios stages in Chang Ping, near Beijing.  Later this month the production will move to the CFG stages in the Huairou district in northern Beijing. The film's two major battle scenes, one from World War II and the other from the War of Liberation, will be shot in Tianmu in August and October. The production will then move to Shanghai in November and Taiwan in December.

This article is related to: John Woo, IN THE WORKS, Foreign


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.