Production is finally set to begin on the sequel to 2000's most exciting Best Picture nominee. No, not "Gladiator" -- that would be "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II - The Green Destiny," shooting on which will start in March 2014, The Weinstein Company announced today. Ang Lee, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for the original "Crouching Tiger," will not return for the sequel -- instead renowned action choreographer Yuen Wo Ping (who's also helmed over two dozen films) will direct.
"I loved Ang Lee's film," TWC's Harvey Weinstein said in the announcement. "I thought it was a master class in directing, but I know we are in fantastic hands with Yuen Wo Ping directing the second installment."
Based on the fifth book in the "Crane-Iron Pentalogy," the sequel will see one familiar face reprising her role. Michelle Yeoh is set to return as Yu Shu Lien, while action veteran Donnie Yen ("Ip Man," "Hero") will step in as the lead. Ping directed Jackie Chan in the 1978 cult favorite "Drunken Master" and more recently helmed "Iron Monkey" in 1993. His last film, "True Legend" also starred Michelle Yeoh.
The original film grossed more than $128 million domestically and $213 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing foreign language film. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" won four Academy Awards and was nominated for six more. Many thought the film was robbed of both Best Picture and Best Director, especially since Ang Lee won both the Director's Guild Award and the Golden Globe for Best Director that year. Of course, he later went on to win two Oscars for "Brokeback Mountain" and "Life of Pi."
Harvey Weinstein, Donnie Yen and Yuen Wo Ping will all be on hand for a press conference in Cannes this Saturday.