It has been 14 years since Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, one of the most beautifully-filmed movies in cinema’s history, mesmerized us all. The film made over $247 million worldwide and took home four Academy Awards including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography. Crouching Tiger fans then should be very happy to hear that the sequel, or more correctly prequel, to this epic love story is finally in the works.

Principal photography for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II — the Green Destiny is set to begin in July 2014. Most of the movie will be filmed in New Zealand and at the Auckland Film Studios with the rest of the movie to be shot in China.

With a script written by John Fusco and to be directed by Woo-ping Yuen, The Green Destiny is a prequel to Crouching Tiger and is based on the same book series by Wang Dulu used in the original Crouching Tiger film.  Michelle Yeoh will reprise her role of Yu Shu Lien, starring opposite China’s big action star Donnie Yen.

The producers decided to film The Green Destiny in New Zealand to take advantage of the country’s new generous taxpayer-funded incentive. Under this new rule called the New Zealand Screen Production Grant, New Zealand gives 20% rebate to productions spending more than NZ$15 million (US$12.8 million) in the country. Previously, productions could only reclaim 15%.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development chief executive Brett O'Reilly said having The Green Destiny filming in Auckland would be a "huge boost" for New Zealand's film industry, and its economy.

Auckland Film Studios has hosted many high-profile productions in the past, including the Chronicles of Narnia films, Emperor, Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules.

For more information on filming in New Zealand, visit Film Auckland, Film New Zealand, and The New Zealand Film Commission.


PHOTO CREDIT: Above banner image via Google.