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Besson And Hoene Head For WARRIOR'S GATE Next Month!
Within the last few years following Luc Besson's co-production partnering of EuropaCorp with Shanghai-based Fundemental Films for a slate of English-language films, its package also included a fantasy martial arts film titled Warrior's Gate. Scant info has been granted for the latter, but thankfully things are about to change as production finally begins next month in lieu of current events at this year's Beijing International Film Festival.
THR reports that helmer Matthias Hoene is directing this, his second feature since winning acclaim with the 2012 action horror romp, Cockneys Vs Zombies. Rising star Uriah Shelton, Flowers Of War actress Ni Ni and Taiwanese-Canadian actor Mark Chao(Black And White 1 & 2) are joining the $48 million dollar French-Chinese co-production with a script by Besson and Robert Mark Karmen which centers on teenager who gets magically transported to China where he ultimately trains in kung fu in order to save a princess from danger.
Sure, it's a plot that sounds awfully familiar for anyone who still feels like The Forbidden Kingdom and Warriors Of Virtue just came out yesterday. Hopefully there's some redeeming value in this project as new as it is, and who would say no to another kung fu movie at that? I wouldn't.
I think it's safe to say you know your movie sucks when you not only screw the rights holders whose name and content you base your unsanctioned film on, but when said rights holders join the chorus of critics panning your movie from literally every angle of the internet. That is the level of achievement you have reached if your name is George Nolfi and you've directed a film called Birth Of The Dragon, long hyped to be a hopefully legendary homage to Bruce Lee, the late founder of Jeet Kune Do and patriarch of American martial arts movie fandom.
I could go on and on until I'm blue in the face about how excited I am for the new action thriller, Triple Threat. I won't, but I will throw my hat in with some words for seasoned stuntman and filmmaker Jesse V. Johnson who, in the wake of a stagnant directing career salvaged by the appeal drawn from his latest release, Savage Dog, has risen above expectations in opportune fashion.
It truly is something to be proud of... a succession accompanied, no less, by a line-up of some serious, prominent action starpower; Names like Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais and Tiger Chen as well as Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Michael Bisping and Jeeja Yanin are all but what one would dream of seeing in a single movie together on the big screen, which, at least until starting late last year, almost felt like an impossibility.
Then again, there were people who thought that Jaa would never appear in a movie with Donnie Yen dating back twelve years ago as the Thai action star took the mantle with groundb…
You've seen him play the Game Of Death opposite Bruce Lee in the late martial arts star's final film. You've watched him go down in the iconic bar room brawl as "Sticks" in Out For Justice. You might have even caught him in a heartfelt and defining moment in the finale scene of David Mamet's 2008 martial arts drama, Redbelt.
Or, if you're immersed in the martial arts niche enough then you've likely given a glance at martial arts legend, Dan Inosanto, in various viral self-defense videos online or in segments from the many documentaries he's been featured in within the last few decades, namely Jay Ignacio's The Bladed Hand: The Global Impact of the Filipino Martial Arts or Pete McCormack's I Am Bruce Lee. For certain, the actor and ardent teacher and FMA mainstay's relevance is guaranteed this week with the news of a new biopic based on the Guro's little-known life and history which includes helping the Dallas Cowboys win Super Bow…