John Woo‘s long in development World War II movie FLYING TIGERS is finally moving forward and will begin filming in 2014. In the last three years, FLYING TIGERS has attracted talents such as Liam Neeson, Tom Cruise, and Christopher McQuarrie but never quite got off the ground. Woo envisioned a massive epic in line with his almost five hour long RED CLIFF. That movie was a spectacle on it’s own, and Woo will do it again. According to the press release from Cyrte Investments and China Film Co., Ltd, FLYING TIGERS will be filmed as a two part feature film and as a six hour miniseries for television. There is no word if the film will get a release in the United States yet, but seeing as the cast will need to be primarily American actors since it will be filmed in English, I would think at least some sort of theatrical run is in the cards.
Here’s the plot of FLYING TIGERS:
Flying Tigers, a heroic band of American pilots who volunteered to join the Chinese Air Force and fight Japanese aggression at the onset of World War II. Known as the “Flying Tigers” due to the iconic shark’s teeth painted on their fighter planes, the team played an integral role in holding the line against imperial Japan in the early days of the war. Although outnumbered and often ill-equipped, the Flying Tigers valiantly staved off numerous Japanese attacks in China and Southeast Asia. Flying Tigers is a compelling story of international friendship and heroism between American and Chinese servicemen who perilously fought side-by-side in a time of need.
We have not had a wide release John Woo movie in North America since 2003’s PAYCHECK with Ben Affleck. Could FLYING TIGERS be his ticket back? It will likely depend on who Woo can cast in the movie. If he still were able to get Liam Neeson or Tom Cruise, you would have a blockbuster on your hands. If he has to go with mid-level or unknown actors, this could be a direct to Redbox kind of film. But, with China serving as the largest non-U.S. movie market, this could be a massive project to bridge the two nations.
FLYING TIGERS is expected to begin filming in 2014 for a release likely in 2015. Are you excited for John Woo to return to English-language filmmaking?