Prior to his venture into the world of Hollywood, John Woo was arguably one of the greatest directors in the world. In addition to launching the career of one Chow Yun-Fat, he crafted some truly breathtaking set-pieces (both Hard Boiled and The Killer standout) without compromising story or mood in the process. Unfortunately, the lure of American cinema proved too much, and he spent a long time there, working with such actors as Nicolas Cage and Jean Claude Van-Damme.
Despite the potential of this bold move, each film seemed worst than the preceding one. Eventually, he moved back east and in the relatively short time period since, has already rediscovered is immeasurable skill, recently in his two-part Red Cliff. It seems the once unparalleled filmmaker is back in business.
So it now brings me pleasure rather than apprehension to announce that he has plans to commence shooting on his new film this January. This particular project is Love and Let Love, previously titled 1949, a story focusing on a woman in the aftermath of WWII and the Chinese Civil War. The relatively unknown (stateside, at least) Korean actress Song Hye-Kyo has signed on to star in the lead role as a wealthy Shanghai lady, leading to speculation over whether her voice will be dubbed or not, but perhaps she is proficient enough in mandarin to speak it authentically herself.
She is backed up by two notable Eastern stars in Chang Chen (2046, Red Cliff) and Zhang Ziyi (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) whose parts have yet to be revealed. Although he is (deservedly) most known for his action, Woo knows how to handle a story with depth well, and the fact that this is described as a “romantic epic” doesn’t perturb me at all, I strongly believe he has the ability to take this on and make something special. [Korea Herald via The Playlist]
With shooting beginning in January, a release date of late 2012 is not off the cards, but 2013 seems most likely, in the west at least.
Are you excited to hear John Woo is making a new film? Do you think he’s chosen a good project?