In 2000, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” burst into theaters with elegant sets, impressive stunt work, and beautiful storytelling. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won four, including Best Foreign Language Film. Thirteen years later, filming has started on the sequel, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny.” With the sequel to a successful film in the works, fans are clamoring to know more about it.
Based on “Iron Knight, Silver Vase,” the fifth book in the Crane Iron Pentalogy, “The Green Destiny” has begun filming under the direction of Yuen Wo Ping. Ping has directed many cult classics and is a renowned action choreographer. Ping has worked with Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh and is no stranger to the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” set; he was the action choreographer for the original film. Ping has some big shoes to fill by succeeding Ang Lee in the director’s chair, but he certainly has the résumé to succeed. Additional films with Ping at the helm include “Iron Monkey” and “True Legend.” Having an action choreographer directing the film is sure to bring exciting action to the screen during this sequel.
Michelle Yeoh is slated to return to her role of Yu Shu Lien and is currently the only original cast member who has signed on to “The Green Destiny.” The only other actor confirmed for the second film is Donnie Yen, whose character is called Silent Wolf. Fans of action films will remember Yen from “Ip Man” and “Hero.” Yen was also the leading man in “Dragon,” originally titled “Wuxia,” which is also the name of the style of films that encompasses both the original “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and its sequel.
One thing is certain: the film’s producer, Harvey Weinstein, is quite excited about the project. He has been the producer of cult classics and blockbuster powerhouse films alike and is certainly aiming to hit both demographics with this continuation of Yu Shu Lien’s story. John Fusco has been hired to write the screenplay based on Du Lu Wang’s novel. Fusco has written screenplays for other memorable films, such as “Young Guns” and “Hidalgo.” Since the original film is the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history, fans are certainly curious whether “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny” will use the beautiful Mandarin language as the original did.
One thing that is certainly not in question is the impending action scenes that Ping is sure to bring to audiences. The original film used actors on wires to create memorable scenes such as the epic forest fight. With the advancement of special effects and digital filmmaking, the possibilities are nearly endless. At the same time, having an action choreographer as a director may keep this film elegant yet simple, and Ping may choose to use digital special effects sparingly.
The stunning colors and action of the first film are sure to be repeated in the sequel. As for the details on location, cast, and effects, a true fan’s mind can only run wild until more details become available about the sequel, which is projected to debut in the late summer or fall of 2014. Although Ping has some films in his repertoire that he may rather not be remembered for, one thing is for certain: with “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny,” Ping has an opportunity to create a lasting masterpiece in the action genre. With his ability to choreograph action scenes and his experience working on the original film, Ping already has the groundwork laid to bring this continuing story back to life seamlessly.
Adding to the weapons in Ping’s arsenal are the seasoned and elegant performances that are sure to enrapture audiences. Yeoh and Yen both offer experience and grace in the wuxia genre, and additional castings will most likely enhance these performances and bring their own memorable touches to this story. Whether the Weinsteins decide to go after the blockbuster buck or the artistic awards, this film is sure to be of epic proportions. Critics are already pondering the impact a Yeoh/Yen martial arts film will have on the box office, with or without Ang Lee as their director. Ping has a lot to live up to, and he will certainly bring his best work to the director’s chair while filming “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny.”