CROUCHING TIGER 2: Donnie Yen Out? Andy Lau In? TWC Says, "Nope."

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
The Weinstein Company have issued an official statement about this:

Los Angeles, CA (January 16, 2014)
David Thwaites, producer of the CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON sequel and Harvey Weinstein, Co Chairman of The Weinstein Company issued the following statement: "The article that appeared in Apple Daily regarding our Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel is unequivocally false.

From the moment Crouching Tiger became a reality at The Weinstein Company we designed the project around Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh.

No other offers were ever made to anyone else and we're thrilled to have such
icons in our film. We look forward to the start of production in 2014."

Troublesome news from Hong Kong for fans of Donnie Yen:

Apple Daily are reporting that Yen has priced himself out of the running for the upcoming sequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and backers The Weinstein Company have moved off of Yen as their choice to fill the lead role and moved on to Andy Lau, who Apple says can be had for 10 million RMB (about $165k in US dollars) less.

Now, it should be noted that Apple has not historically been the most reliable of sources and this could all very well be a negotiating tactic - $165k is certainly significant but seems a low number to be a total deal breaker - but there you have it. There is now word of any change regarding Michelle Yeoh - slated to reprise her role from the original - or Yuen Woo Ping, who is slated to direct.
Around the Internet:
  • Anita Bailey

    As Donnie continues to film CTHD2, I was disappointed to hear that Cung Le was not going to be in the film due to a scheduling conflict. Well, that has changed and I am hoping they will recast him in a role. Check out my video message to Mr. Harvey Weinstein. It was to prove a point and be entertaining at the same time. "I Want My FU With Cung Le Too" Thanks

    https://www.facebook.com/video...

  • Jpunk

    I love every Donnie's Films and series. I also like many HK movies except CTHD. and if I have to watch CTHD 2 then must because he play in it.

  • Teddy Tinsley

    If true then it would be bad news. I like Andy but he's not a true martial artist and the movie would be like when they cast Anthony Wong Chau-Sang as Yip Man.

  • NateP

    Your math is off. 10 million RMB would be around 1.65 million US.

  • I ran it through the currency converter at xe.com ... Maybe I dropped a zero ...

  • $26897721

    First, Donnie is not crazy to pass up an opportunity like this. It would be career suicide. And the same rumors were spread about Ip Man 3D, which I know he is going to do. Second, Filming was postponed for Ip Man 3D due to scheduling conflicts and too much Ip Man in the market! Like Donnie said ' Everybody was playing Ip Man" He is going to wait until the right timing to do the last installment. Apple Daily you are the pits for starting such a rumor! I should Wing Chun you..then Muay Thai you..then MMA you for the kill. Smh And Twitch.. shame on you for even printing such gossip. I'm really surprised! What? your site is losing its flavor that you resorted to such an attention getter scheme?

  • Mike

    Would it really be career suicide to pass on something like this? I mean, what are the odds that it actually turns out any good?

  • $26897721

    I mean come on. Given the success of this series, who would not want to be apart of the Crouching Dragon franchise? This franchise is right up there with a coveted role as a Trekkie or being in The Matrix. The thought of this movie not being good shouldn't enter anyone's mind unless you just hating on the players involved Yeoh, Yen, and Ping and you just don't like the genre. With those three involved period, it is a guaranteed success. Nothing is guaranteed, you may say. Trust, All the stops are going to be pulled out for this movie to make sure it is a guaranteed success. Because believe it or not, you have those who hope the film bombs. And I know Donnie is going to work to prove people wrong. Those people who are not in favor of a sequel period are just cynical.

  • Qinlong

    Yeoh, Yen and Yuen are among my favorite film people ever, so I'm dying to see this film get done and be successful, but still Anita your comment is a bit naïve I must say. "It would be career suicide." > No it wouldn't be, Donnie doesn't need this film to keep being successful.

    "Twitch.. shame on you for even printing such gossip." > At the time it looked solid so it's perfectly understandable that Twitch published that rumor, trust me they don't need to 'get' attention.

    "The thought of this movie not being good shouldn't enter anyone's mind unless you just hating on the players involved" > Come on, it's quite possible to simply be cautious and realistic. It is very fangirl-ish to view people with guarded enthusiasm as 'haters'.

    "Trust, All the stops are going to be pulled out for this movie to make sure it is a guaranteed success." >if you know anyhting about film history, far or recent, you'll know this means nothing.

    Anyway don't misunderstand, I like your enthusiasm and I share it, a new Yeoh/Yen pairing is a wet dream to me, but still, with the Weinsteins involved (they still haven't released Yeoh's excellent Reign of Assassins, acquired 3 years ago, by the way), the fact that in China/Hong Kong, Crouching Tiger is far from being the beloved classic it is in the west, the fact that Yuen is a very hit-or-miss director, the fact the slight 'Chinese Epic' phase has died in the US, well, I'd say even with the scintillating players involved, Crounching Tiger 2 has something of an uphill battle to fight.

  • $26897721

    I understand your rebuttal. First, Career suicide-many actors have regretted passing up coveted roles. For Donnie's goals and purpose as a actor and action director, this movie would be an excellent platform for him. Second, I don't like yellow journalism. And to reprint such a rumor to me was irresponsible journalism. Now fans are posting the article over Facebook thinking its true, when it is not! Yeah, it has served its purpose-attention getter! Third, I am not naive and fangirl-ish. When you come to expect a certain level of performance from someone, even if they have had some failures, for me, my first thought is not to even think about their next project being a failure. If I was doing the casting for this movie and I was able to obtain Yeoh, Yen and Ping, hell yeah, I think my success rate is going to be pretty good. Fourth,, It took the Weinsteins a few years to get this project secured, I don't think they are going to screw it up now, inspite of their previous track record with other projects. And pulling out all the stops does sometimes mean something, especially as film investor, you want a certain rate of return on your investment. Fifth, Uphill battle to fight? LOL There is no fight, there is no battle inspite of the pessimistic points you have made, in myr opinion, about the film's lack of popularity and Ping's career, among non-fans and critics. What kind of review or prediction is that? I mean you act like the Weinsteins just hired dumb and dumber to do the film. Ping was apart of the first movie! Who better to do it since Ang Lee is not available or didn't sign back on? Smh!

  • TeamSonnenMan

    donnie could retire tomorrow no matter what he does he cant committ career suicide hes a legend

  • $26897721

    Donnie is not ready to retire and he still has alot to give to the film industry. And I know he doesn't want to go out being known as the actor that turned Crouching Tiger down! I only say that because Denzel Washington admits he made a mistake turning down Seven! I know Donnie would not want to make that mistake in turning down a film and/or role that he could sink his creative teeth in, and that would add to his legacy.

  • Marcel Samson

    Maybe joining CTHD2 would add to Yen's legacy. But turning it down would not ditract from his legacy at all.

    Also regretting turning down a role and committing career suicide are to different things. Just look at your Denzel example...

  • Qinlong

    You mean Ang Lee, not John Woo.
    "my first thought is not to even think about their next project being a failure" - "you act like the Weinsteins just hired dumb and dumber to do the film" > See, that's the fangirl-ish discourse I was talking about. I tell you Yen Yeoh and Yuen (bear in mind his family name is Yuen, not Ping) are some of my favorite film people, that their reunion is a wet dream to me, and because I express caution in my enthusiasm you still manage to say I'm likening them to Dumb and Dumber. There's not much more I can do.
    "I think my success rate is going to be pretty good. " > and that's for the naïvety. Film production and success is a more complex equation than just "if such and such actors are involved, then boom, success.".

    And just because I see all the mitigating factors, doesn't mean I don't hope for the best outcome. Hell, I want a trilogy.

  • $26897721

    Yes. Your correction came late. I made the change. I meant Ang Lee but Woo was on my mind. LOL. And thanks for the Chinese name lesson, but fans know him as Ping. I may be a fan but I also work in the business. I understand both sides! And given your perspective I know not to partner with people like you on a project. You have doomed our chances of success already with your so called "facts".

  • Qinlong

    Truth is you can't take anything that is not 100% positive and you get a kneejerk reaction anytime something mitigating about it comes your way. I'd tell you to wake up, that it's possible to be a enlightened fan, rather than a blind fan, but since in the end we are both supporters of this project (as I've stated many times already), I'll leave at that.

  • $26897721

    I'm not taking a blind eye to the possible downside of this project. I am just not predicting that ultimately this project is doomed from the beginning and will have problems. And that is what you are making it seem like with your so called "facts" And you don't sound like a supporter of the project. Honestly, if I didn't know any better, your comments would deter me from even giving the movie a look. Present these "facts" to the Weinsteins, Michelle, Donnie and Ping or anyone else who may come on board for this project. Say it to their face. I am sure you are not the only one thinking this way. They will look at you like you are crazy! and say something like "So you think with your "facts" we should just cancel this project altogether because we have no chance of success" The same honest, yet pessimistic view was said to Donnie about Ip Man and we see how that turned out. It spun a flood gate of Ip Man movies, tv series, now a freakin musical. Let's put your "pessimistic facts" together with my "optimistic facts" and we have a balanced view. Then after everyone has put their heart and soul into the film, fans and the box office will help determine the project's success inspite of the "facts". That's all I'm saying. Nice sharing with you!

  • Qinlong

    Again, being realistic in seeing the cons as well as the pros, is not saying the project is doomed. You gotta be less simplistic.

  • Qinlong

    Sorry for the correction then ; Donnie Yen's fans don't call him "Yen", so since you said "Yeoh and Yen" I assumed you were using family names.
    Yep, you indeed sound like a really seasoned player in the business. That sense of realism and perspective are what tipped me off.

  • $26897721

    LOL. Don't get me wrong. No need to apologize for the Chinese name correction. I appreciate you doing that. And I was just referring to their last names as actors, like a journalist would in reference the subject of their writing piece. Donnie is known as Ji Dan. No need for mockery. I would rather be realistic than pessimistic. Your 'facts" remind me of the results of a sad marketing poll. I think I will take another survey. Balance..I am about balance. In anything, you have to look at the pros and cons, to assess a project. I just can't co-sign (agree) on your doom to fail perspective. That's all. I rather remain optimistic in spite of obvious facts or opinions. That's my season business voice talking. LOL

  • Qinlong

    I was not mocking you, though I was being ironic when I said you had realism.
    Again, you don't seem to want to actually read what I write. I never said the project was doomed, and I heavily repeated that I support it and love all the players involved (except the Weinsteins). How you manage to not get that is scary. "Doom to fail" > are you serious? I merely said it had an uphill battle to fight. If that means doomed to fail for you, I'm sorry for you. Balancing the pros and cons is exactly what I did. Pros : the team, the source material. Cons : the Weinsteins, the varying levels of popularity of the first films.
    You apparently can't deal with the idea of cons, and that's too bad for you.

  • $26897721

    Excuse me. But when you say the infamous cliche in our business "an uphill battle" that is speaking doom and failure. How else is someone to take such a comment? It sure isn't encouraging. LOL Too bad for me? Please. I have no problems dealing with the cons, you refuse to consider the pros and strike a balance between the two. Which in the words of Dr. Spock, "It is illogical to me." Qinlong, your cons have been duly noted. I'm going to take my pros and go. LOL Smh Maybe I will see you at the Premiere in New York. I will surely be front and center!

  • Qinlong

    A battle isn't a defeat. You can't just switch the two words. I say it's an uphill battle but I hope the battle will end in victory. Sorry that your brain can't compute that. And I spell out the pros ("Pros : the team, the source material.", "my favorite film people, their reunion is a wet dream") many times, and you manage to say that I "refuse to consider the pros"...
    I'm obviously talking either to a brick wall or to a 5-year-old child. Either way, it's not interesting.

  • $26897721

    Look. I have yet to attack you personally in this discussion but yet you have used insulting terms to describe my perspective which I have ignored until now. In a nutshell you are narrow-minded. I'm done.

  • Qinlong

    Well since you repeatedly failed understand my point despite my best efforts, I'd say you were done even before this sorry parody of a discussion even started. I tried to talk to you like I would to a grown-up, all to no avail.

  • Rage72

    Anita, there are a lot of people who felt like Crouching Tiger was way overrated..I mean, yes it was a bit groundbreaking at the time of it's release, but ask any martial arts enthusiast and it will never be mentioned in the same breath as in something like the Iron Monkey series.

  • $26897721

    As with any artistic expression you will have diverse opinions. "Any" martial arts enthusiast don't speak for the many. To say "never" mention in the same breath as Iron Monkey is an fallible assumption. The same thing has been said about The Grandmaster, and look at its success! Each film has its own unique value in my opinion.

  • Mike

    I'm a huge fan of the genre and most of the people involved, but you left the Weinsteins off of your list of people there and their track record with this kind of thing is a little less stellar.

  • $26897721

    LOL. Excellent Observation Number One Son. Awh Grasshopper, I purposely didn't mention them! As long as the Weinsteins don't restrict Ping and Yen, and just stay out of their way and give them whatever they need to make this masterpiece, it is going to be awesome!

  • Marcel Samson

    That's a lot of "as long as' ". That seems a lot like ignoring the negatives to me ;).

  • And what, exactly, in their long, long, long history makes you think they'll do that?

  • $26897721

    To even get Michelle, Donnie and Yuen Woo Ping to agree to do the movie, trust, they had to agree to give them full reign!

  • Marcel Samson

    Really? Have you seen their Hollywood based productions before? Hell have you seen some of their own movies on home turf? Not everything these people make is pure gold. They've made some pretty simplistic and silly stuff.

  • Qinlong

    Los Angeles, CA (January 16, 2014) - David Thwaites, producer of the CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON sequel and Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company issued the following statement:

    "The article that appeared in Apple Daily regarding our Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel is unequivocally false. From the moment Crouching Tiger became a reality at The Weinstein Company we designed the project around Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh. No other offers were ever made to anyone else and we’re thrilled to have such icons in our film. We look forward to the start of production in 2014."

  • Oh, Apple Daily. You're wacky.

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