In 2000, director Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon took home several Oscars from the Academy Awards for bringing the philosophy of Chinese martial arts to the world.
The film became one of the most iconic films about Chinese martial arts in the eyes of many overseas.
After 15 years, action choreographer for the film Yuen Woo-ping has decided to take up the challenge to direct a sequel - the Sino-US co-produced film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.
However Wholesale NFL Jerseys , the success of the first film has set an extremely high bar that many feel will be difficult to surpass.
Explaining why the production team decided to continue this popular franchise, co-producer Bey Logan told media that even today many Americans still use Crouching Tiger as the benchmark for martial arts films, yet many people in their 20s have not seen the film. As such he wants to introduce a new generation to the story.
A different story
One of China's most renowned martial arts choreographers, 70-year-old Yuen has been behind multiple influential movies, including Jackie Chan's early works Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, the Wachowski's Matrix films and Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films.
"I want to tell a story about the chivalrous spirit that existed in China's jianghu. Jianghu is like a vat of dye. There is good and bad Wholesale Jerseys From China , but foreigners don't know much about it," Yuen told the Global Times.
Jianghu is a term that Chinese use to refer to the community of martial arts fighters in stories.
Looking at the production crew, it seems they came directly from such a community. The team includes 700 people from different countries speaking more than 20 languages and trying to tell a Chinese period story.
The first script for the sequel was written by an American. However, Yuen wasn't satisfied at all, even though the writer had watched quite a lot of kungfu movies and had a good understanding of the philosophy behind them.
He explained that it wasn't that the script was badly written, but that the core values were still very Western.
"He didn't write about the spirit of martial arts. Without that spirit Wholesale Jerseys China , those martial arts characters are empty," Yuen said.
The script was revised again and again, even during shooting, to make sure it got these concepts right.
"There's a morality in jianghu that money doesn't matter at all in the face of what is right."
The film was shot in New Zealand and Beijing. During preparation, the crew spent more than a year doing research in China and building a one-to-one recreation of Prince Gong's mansion in Beijing in New Zealand, down to the very antiques inside the building. More than 200 hours of raw footage was shot.
Yuen even ran into Ang Lee while shooting in New Zealand. According to Yuen Wholesale Jerseys , the two old friends chatted, but didn't talk about the movie, nor did Lee give him any suggestions.
"I don't feel under any pressure. The film won't turn out well if there's too much pressure," Yuen said.
"I want to tell the story in a different way. Although the characters are from the original book, I won't follow in its footsteps."
Together with Yuen, actress Michelle Yeoh Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys , who played Yu Xiulian in the first film, is the only one from the original cast to return for the sequel.
As the only cast member to be in both films, she was also the only one who could compare the two directors.
"There was no real feeling of jianghu in the first one, you only heard what jianghu looks like. But Crouching Tiger 2 really takes the audience into jianghu," Yoeh told the Global Times.
She said that many overseas audiences got to learn about kung fu through the first film, but Ang Lee took a slow approach to telling the story. This led to some Asian audiences wishing that the film "would tell the story faster."
"They are like Heaven and Earth Cheap Authentic NFL Jerseys , the sun and the moon," Yoeh described the directors' storytelling styles. However, she pointed out that while they are different, they both aimed for perfection, sometimes having her do the same movements over and over again.
"In this film, you will see master martial artists who sacrifice their lives for their principles. Yuen is good at making a movie like this because he has been in the world of martial arts for a very long time."
Returning to a character after 15 years was also a journey for the actress.
A number of times during the interview Cheap Replica NFL Jerseys , Yoeh expressed how much she loved Yu, which she believes is the perfect reflection of a Chinese woman, especially after more than a decade of growth.
"She had matured. She has become Li Mubai (the character Chow Yun-fat played in the first film).
"You felt that she was conservative back then, but now she's the master. She no longer waits for a man to speak first, instead she just says 'Cut the chatter. Either let's go together or step aside.'"
Becoming a mature and modern woman is something Yeoh believes audiences will relate to.
An action star for years, Yeoh explained that she didn't feel returning to the physically demanding role difficult even though she is now 53.
She also joked that filming martial arts movies is far safer now than it used to be. She pointed out that she broke a leg while filming the first movie.
However Cheap Stitched NFL Jerseys , now with better protections in place and stronger wires, she can jump higher and do more dangerous stunts. Additionally, CGI can help make things look better.
The film is scheduled to release in the Chinese mainland on Friday and on February 26 in the US.
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