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Watch: Trailer For John Woo’s Epic ‘The Crossing 2’ Starring Zhang Ziyi

Watch: Trailer For John Woo's Epic 'The Crossing 2' Starring Zhang Ziyi

You might be asking yourself, ” ‘The Crossing 2?‘ Was there a ‘The Crossing 1?'” Yes, there was! Over Christmas, John Woo released the first part of his epic drama in China, and now part two is gearing up for release, promising action and tears. 

Zhang ZiyiHuang Xiamoing and Song Hye-kyo star in the movie that chronicles three couples and their intertwining love stories set in 1940s Taiwan and Shanghai, centered around the 1949 sinking of Taiping, which caused the deaths of over 1500 people who were trying to flee following the Chinese Civil War. Evidently, Woo was inspired by some big screen dramas of yore.

READ MORE: John Woo’s WWII Epic ‘Flying Tigers’ To Arrive As Feature Film & Extended, 6 Hour Miniseries

“I have always been a big fan of David Lean’s ‘Dr. Zhivago,’ and wanted to make an epic love story myself,” the director told Deadline. “It’s always been my dream as a director to shoot something beautiful, and on a sweeping scale that captures the turbulence of a changing era. The script for ‘The Crossing’ had all of these elements. Most western audiences are unfamiliar with Chinese history from that period of time, so I wanted show them the struggles and tribulations, and ultimately triumphs, that people form that era experienced.”

However, the audience for this movie at home wasn’t quite as large as those involved might’ve hoped, and Woo chalks it up to young people wanting something different. “If this film had come out several years ago, the reception would have been very different,” he said. “But the market has changed a lot the past few years. The main moviegoing audience in China is what we call the post-’90s generation, that is, youths born after 1990. Their taste is mostly for Hollywood blockbusters and locally-produced romantic comedies, which is quite different from the subject matter of our movie. Also, we only had two and a half months for post-production, which meant that we had to rush the editing, visual effects, sound, and so on. Even though the box office was not great, audiences who later watched it on television and DVD gave pretty positive reviews.”

That said, Woo understands the pendulum will eventually swing back. “…I believe the market will mature slowly, and audiences will start to go for films which are more fulfilling emotionally and spiritually, than just sheer spectacle,” he added.

“The Crossing 2” opens on July 30th. Watch below.

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