At long last, a sequel to the 2000 martial arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is getting under way, with backing from The Weinstein Company. The cast is still incomplete, but with cameras beginning to roll this week, Glee actor Harry Shum Jr. has just been added in a lead role.
Penned by John Fusco (The Forbidden Kingdom) and directed by Yuen Woo-ping (Iron Monkey, Tai-Chi Master), the movie, once subtitled The Green Destiny, picks up the story 20 years after the events of the first Crouching Tiger. It centers on four heroes of the martial arts world — Silent Wolf, Yu Shu-lien, Tie-Fang and Snow Vase — who must use their courage and skills to keep the legendary sword Green Destiny from falling into the hands of the villainous Hades Dai.
Shum Jr. will portray Tie-Fang. Donnie Yen is already on board to play Silent Wolf, and Michelle Yeoh is set to play Yu Shu-lien. No word yet on which actors are taking on the other main roles.
Though a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sounds very cool on paper, this film is inevitably going to suffer from not having Ang Lee in the director’s chair. Hopefully the stunts (Yeun has spent decades working as a stunt coordinator and action choreographer on such films as Drunken Master, Once Upon a Time in China, Kill Bill Vol. 2 and The Grandmaster) will make up for that lack of straight-up artistry behind the camera.
The cast also looks promising. Yen and Yeoh are both proven talents, but Shum Jr. made much of his ripped physique and physical agility on the Fox show Glee, with his character proving himself to be the best dancer of the central cast (the actor also appeared in Step Up 2: The Streets and The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. Perhaps he’ll find another promising career in martial arts films; Glee is wrapping up, and the actor only has two films in the pipeline – immigration drama Revenge of the Green Dragons and horror-thriller Fire City: The Interpreter of Signs.
The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel is set to film in New Zealand and China. A 2016 release is planned.