Back in 2007, before Inglourious Basterds took him to the Western Front, Quentin Tarantino was linked with a remake of King Hu's Come Drink With Me. Nothing came of it but the project, born of the Weinstein Company's partnership with Hong Kong’s Celestial Pictures, refused to go away. Now comes news that the 1966 wuxia classic will be returning in a new guise, along with Sun Chung's 1978 The Avenging Eagle, as Harvey's crew set to work on English-language versions of the two films.
The trailers, which can watch here (Drink) and here (Eagle), tells you everything you need to know about these great martial arts flicks. Their M.O. was to find the most action-packed period of Chinese history and fill it with combat, kung-fu treachery and really, really long beards. Hu, in particular, has been a defining influence on the modern wuxia, offering an inspiration for Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tarantino's own Kill Bill films and Zhang Yimou's work, to name a few.
The two remakes are scheduled to go in front of the cameras back-to-back next year, with Weinstein and David Thwaites producing and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II writer John Fusco penning the scripts. There's no word yet on locations or setting. "We are unable to disclose that now as it depends very much on John Fusco's vision", explained Celestial's Kristen Tong, "but we feel that the subject matter of the projects would fit with more exotic locations".
Things have taken a distinctly Eastern flavour at the Weinstein Co. lately. It has Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster ready for distribution next year, as well as that Crouching Tiger sequel.