A couple of weeks back we had our first look at a teaser poster for John Woo‘s The Crossing and I shared some basic details:
The film will be set on aboard the Taipining, a steamer that sank after a collision in 1949. Though it had only been okayed to hold five hundred to six hundred passengers, there were fifteen hundred on board and… I guess it’s a spoiler to tell you what happened, but it wasn’t pretty.
Judging from new reports, issued to the Chinese press on the occasion of production starting, the film is a whole lot bigger than this. Here’s part of an official announcement, translated from China Radio Network to the best of my Google-abusing ability.
The film tells a story that spans fifty years in the modern history of China, of three pairs of lovers from different backgrounds and how they are affected by the tide of history, their experiences of war and disaster, and how they finally find a happy story.
So, perhaps the Taipining’s crossing is the centrepiece, but it’s now sounding like it won’t be the whole, hugely epic picture.
Also in the announcement is word that the film will be released in parts, the first of which has something like a $40 million budget. The first film in the diptych is due for release late next year with the second following in 2015, and both have been written by Crouching Tiger‘s Wang Hui-Ling.
At the head of the post is a new image of Woo and some of his cast. The full roster of players includes Song Hye Kyo as Zhou Yunfen, the daughter of a super-rich banker, as well as Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Huang Xiaoming, Tong Dawei, and Nagasawa Masama.
I think Woo has the stuff to really make this work. I’ll be tracking this one closely.