An idea twenty years in the making, globally acclaimed director John Woo’s (吳宇森) latest project The Crossing <生死戀> will finally begin filming on July 6.
Despite the director’s many attempts at keeping details of the film secret, this week the cast list was leaked onto social media site Weibo. Besides previously confirmed stars Zhang Ziyi (章子怡), Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武), and Korean actress Song Hye Kyo (宋慧喬), the film will also include Huang Xiaoming (黃曉明), Tong Dawei (佟大為), Hong Kong actors Alex Fong (方中信), Bowie Lam (林保怡), and Taiwanese actor, Tony Yang (楊佑寧).
The post-World War II romantic epic is rumored to come in two parts, with the first part arriving in theaters at the end of 2014 and the second part in 2015. Scriptwriter Wang Hui Ling (王惠玲), who previously adapted the screenplays for Ang Lee (李安)’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon <臥虎藏龍>, and Lust, Caution <色戒>, is also on-board to pen the script for this movie.
Often referred to as “The Chinese Titanic”, The Crossing is inspired by a true event that took place in 1949. Steamer Taiping was on its way from Shanghai to Keelung, Taiwan on January 27, 1949. It carried 1,500 passengers, many were refugees fleeing Communist China during the Chinese Civil War. Only approved of carrying 580 passengers, the steamer unfortunately hit a cargo boat en route and sank, leaving only about 50 survivors.
The Crossing will focus on the intertwining love stories of three couples and will span 60 years. Little is currently known about the characters, although reports claimed that Song Hye Kyo will play the daughter of a wealthy Shanghainese banker. Through a series of unfortunate events, she quickly learns to leave her spoiled and immature attitude behind.
The leaked cast list also revealed character names. Song Hye Kyo will play Zhou Yunfen, while Zhang Ziyi is cast as Yu Zhen, Takeshi Kaneshiro as Yan Shikun, Huang Xiaoming as Lei Yifang, Tong Dawei as Tong Daqing, Alex Fong as Captain Gu, and Bowie Lam as Yuan Pite.
Although previously announced, Taiwanese actor Chang Chen (張震), Louis Koo (古天樂), and mainland actor Zhang Hanyu (張涵予) were not included in the leaked cast list. When asked for confirmation, the film company stated they will make an official announcement at a later time.
The Crossing has faced many obstacles since its introduction. John Woo first announced the film, then titled <1949>, at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 with a tentative release date of December 2009. In early 2009 however, producer Terence Chang (張家振) announced that the project was cancelled due to copyright conflicts with the film’s publisher. Things took a favorable turn in 2012 when a mainland company bought the film’s rights and green-lit it for production. Last year, John Woo took several months of rest to recover from a tonsillar tumor, delaying filming further.
After nearly five years and several name changes (the film was once called Taiping Lun <太平輪>, and later The Crossing), John Woo will finally realize his vision when filming begins this weekend.
This article is written by Katrine for JayneStars.com.