John Woo’s WWII FLYING TIGERS To Be 2-Pt Feature And Six-Hr Television Miniseries
Dutch-based strategic investment boutique Cyrte Investments and China Film Co., Ltd. are teaming with legendary action director John Woo (Face Off, Red Cliff, Mission Impossible II) on Flying Tigers, a feature film and six-hour television drama miniseries about a group of American pilots who volunteered to fight under the Chinese flag alongside their Chinese counterparts during WWII.
The project will be a two-part feature film released theatrically in greater China, and additionally crafted into a six-hour television drama miniseries for distribution in the rest of the world. The announcement was made today during the Beijing International Film Festival at a signing ceremony attended by Cyrte CEO Frank Botman, CFG Chairman Han Sanping and John Woo.
The epic action drama tells the legendary story of the Flying Tigers, a heroic band of American pilots who volunteered to join the Chinese Air Force and fight Japanese aggression at the onset of World War II. Known as the “Flying Tigers” due to the iconic shark’s teeth painted on their fighter planes, the team played an integral role in holding the line against imperial Japan in the early days of the war. Although outnumbered and often ill-equipped, the Flying Tigers valiantly staved off numerous Japanese attacks in China and Southeast Asia. Flying Tigers is a compelling story of international friendship and heroism between American and Chinese servicemen who perilously fought side-by-side in a time of need.
Woo is expected to begin principal photography for Flying Tigers in early 2014.
Woo and his producing partner, Terence Chang, will produce the films and TV miniseries under their Lion Rock Productions banner. Woo said “Flying Tigers is a project that I have always wanted to do, because this is a story that expresses the courage, resourcefulness, friendship, and spirit of both the Chinese and American people and pilots. It promotes friendship between the two nations. I am extremely grateful to China Film Co., Ltd. and Cyrte Investments for giving me this opportunity, and I will definitely put forth my greatest efforts.”
“We are honored to be working with John Woo, one of the preeminent Chinese directors of our time, and the fabulous team at China Film Co., Ltd., led by Mr. Han Sanping,” said Mr. Botman of Cyrte, who added “This is Woo’s passion project and we could not conceive of anyone more perfect to tell the story of the Flying Tigers. Like Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, this heroic story of Chinese and American cooperation and their struggles in WWII needs to be retold to a new generation.”
Mr. Han of CFG added: “China Film Co., Ltd., as the biggest film development, production and distribution company in China, was fully engaged in the cooperation with John Woo and Terence Chang at the initial stage of the development of Flying Tigers. We have high hopes for Flying Tigers, which is no doubt one of the most important films for CFG in recent years. We believe that the collaboration between CFG, John Woo, Terence Chang, and Cyrte Investments allows us to showcase the charm of Chinese made films in a more diversified and appealing way to the global audience.”
Cyrte will work with its portfolio company Exclusive Media, the leading production company for independent Hollywood films, to assist with the project.
Lion Rock Productions was formed in 1998 by director John Woo and his producing partner Terence Chang. Their partnership dates back to Hong Kong where they produced such films as Hard Boiled and The Killer. Feature film credits include Hard Target for Universal, Broken Arrow for Twentieth Century Fox, Mission: Impossible II andFace/Off for Paramount Pictures. Credits under the Lion Rock banner include Paycheck, Windtalkers, Bulletproof Monk, The Big Hit, Blood Brothers, My Fair Gentleman, Reign of Assassins, and the blockbuster hit Red Cliff. Television credits include Red Skies,The Robinsons: Lost in Space and the animated project Appleseed: Ex Machina.
Standing:Terence Chang (Lion Rock Productions), John Woo, Charlie Coker (Cyrte Investments), Han Sanping (head of China Film Group), Miao Xiaotian (VP of China Film Co., Ltd.)
Seated: Frank Botman (CEO of Cyrte Investments) and Zhao Haicheng (Director & VP of China Film Co.)