The prequel to the hugely successful epic martial arts Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – entitled The Green Destiny – has been in the works for some time now but production has stalled due to complications with filming schedules and locations.
However the ball is now firmly set to roll with the news that new regulations regarding filming incentives in New Zealand have been approved and a representative from Film Auckland confirmed that the prequel will begin filming in July of this year.
Speaking on Radio New Zealand, the chairman of Film Auckland said, “It’s quite clear that until the decision to increase the incentives for international films to come to New Zealand we were just not competitive…When this change was made, it signalled to the world that we’re open for business again.”
The new regulation states that production companies can claim back up to 25% of their budgets as rebates and came into effect earlier this month. The news also confirms the earlier rumours that James Cameron’s Avatar trilogy will also be filmed in New Zealand.
Michelle Yeoh is set to return as Yu Shu Lien, but neither Chow Yun Fat nor director Ang Lee will not be back. Taking up directing duties this time will be Yuen Woo-Ping, who was involved in the original film but only as a fight co-ordinator. His previous films include Iron Monkey and Tai-Chi Master but he has worked on other Hollywood movies like Kill Bill and more recently the critically acclaimed The Grandmaster. Hong Kong legend Donnie Yen will co-star with The Weinstein Company co-producing.
Gavin Logan – Follow me on Twitter