After taking on hit series and making Chelsea Lately their new late night talk show, Netflix is set to expand their ever-growing entertainment conglomerate by premiering their first original film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon:Green Legend. The announcement came toward the end of September, and Netflix will be the first and only home theater/entertainment company to have the flick on demand. This is definitely big news for lovers of its Oscar-winning predecessor considering that it has been over a decade since the first one graced theaters nationwide. The timeline for the sequel is set after its predecessor and features some familiar faces with a new journey and antagonist.
Rumors of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon‘s sequel began to surface throughout the web in 2014. Ranked as the highest-grossing foreign film of all time and praised by critics as one of the best martial arts movies in history, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon‘s sequel could debatably be a big cash cow for any studio to produce. The premiere on Netflix only adds to the pressure of creating a great film for viewers to love, but a great marketing move by the company. The only questions that remained were what studio empire was going to take on the challenge of creating a sequel on the same level, if not, greater than its predecessor and who was going to direct it. Since Sony was no longer in the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon market, Weinstein Company exclusively received the rights to the original screenplay and John Fusco-written script.
Loosely based off book 5: Iron Knight, Silver Vase in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy series by Wang Du Lu, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon:Green Legend will feature characters Silent Wolf and Yu Shu Lien as the lead protagonists. Michelle Yeoh will be the only actress reprising her respective role as the tough, yet, compassionate fighter. Donnie Yen (Ip Man) will play the warrior Silent Wolf. Although the full cast has not been disclosed, original director Ang Lee is not associated with the sequel. In an announcement made by the Weinstein Company, Chinese director Wo Ping Yuen (choreographer of The Matrix trilogy, Kill Bill Vol. 2, Kung Fu Hustle, and The Grandmaster) will take on the high pressure job of creating another phenomenal blockbuster.
Although the sequel is set to begin filming this year, there are several details about the plot that are still a mystery. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s story was based loosely off the fourth book in Wang Du Lu’s series and the fifth book will be the focal point for the sequel. Reported as originally titled The Iron Knight, Silver Vase, the fifth book focuses on the life of a young warrior who is the son of one of the original characters (the Iron Knight) from the series. The young warrior was switched at birth with a baby girl (the Silver Vase) and strives to find out his true identity as he reaches adulthood. Though the story seems a little vague, this should allow director Wo Ping Yuen plenty of room for interpretation and, well choreographed, action scenes.
The announcement of a sequel to the acclaimed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon series to arrive in theaters and exclusively on Netflix, on August 28th, 2015, could make or break the quality of the original. What made the first film so great was the well-balanced mix of great cinematography, great cast, story-telling, well choreographed fight scenes, and two intertwining love stories. With neither former director Ang Lee reprising his role as director or many of the former characters returning, this sequel has much to live up to in fans’ eyes.
Opinion By Tyler Cole