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Chow Yun Fat leaves

04.17.2007
Only three days into shooting, Chow Yun Fat (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) has dropped out of the John Woo epic, THE BATTLE OF RED CLIFF. This is pretty surprising, since I would've thought these two guys were good friends, given that they've worked together a lot in the past, on stuff like A BETTER TOMORROW and HARD-BOILED.

Chow's deperature is the second big-name to leave the project, with Tony Leung (2046) leaving a couple of weeks ago. It's reported that Chow's dropping out is a huge psychological blow, but I'd be more concerned about Leung leaving, since he is in my opinion the best actor in Asia. Either way you look at it though, it's a huge blow to what was supposed to be one of the biggest movies - maybe even the biggest - ever made in China, its $70 million budget the largest ever sanctioned in Chinese history. I don't know if it's just because I'm half Chinese myself, but I have high hopes for movies like these, it would be a pity to see the whole thing fall away. It's also an interesting project because we're going to get to see how John Woo treats a chinese film, having spent so many years making Hollywood movies. Is he going to make a movie as visually stunning as HERO and HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS were? Or will it be people pulling up on the front wheel of their motorcycle? Either way, expect some doves to just happen to be flying around at some point in the movie. Here's hoping that everything moves ahead.
Extra Tidbit: THE BATTLE OF RED CLIFF reportedly weighs in as a hefty four-hour epic. It is planned to be split up into two parts for cinematic release.
Source: Variety

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