Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a fantasy martial arts film directed by Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain). Although it was shot around China, and in Mandarin (China’s most common language) the film was actually made with western audiences in mind. In that respect, Crouching Tiger was pretty dang successful, raking in over $100,000,000 in the U.S. and a plethora of awards, including that year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. With that level of success, a sequel wasn’t too far away, right? Well, better late than never. According to Variety, a sequel – actually, a prequel – titled Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II – The Green Destiny “is expected to shoot in New Zealand and China later this year.”
Of course the main (or only) motivating factor behind this prequel is money – it is being produced by the Weinstein Company after all – but that doesn’t make it unwarranted. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is the adaptation of the penultimate entry in a series of five novels. The Green Destiny will purportedly adapt elements from the other novels in the series.
Note in the original film “Green Destiny” was the name of a sword owned by Chow Yun-Fat’s character which served as the story’s MacGuffin. However, as far as we know Chow will not be returning to the prequel. Neither will the director Lee. Instead, Crouching Tiger‘s action choreographer, Yuen Wo Ping (who also handled choreography in The Grandmaster, Kill Bill, and The Matrix series) is switching to the director’s seat for The Green Destiny – though he may still act as choreographer. This won’t be a first time job for Yuen; he’s directed a slew of Hong Kong action films, including True Legend and Iron Monkey. The only confirmed returning cast member is Michelle Yeoh, who will be joined by Hong Kong action superstar, Donnie Yen in an unspecified role.