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Reign of Assassins

Chinese Title: Jianyu (Swords and Rain)

a.k.a. Jianyu Jianghu


Release Date:  September 2010
Language:  Mandarin Chinese
Production Companies:  Lion Rock Productions, Media Asia Group (Hong Kong),
Beijing Galloping Horse Film & TV Production (China),
Gamania Digital Entertainment (Taiwan), Lumiere Motion Picture (Taiwan),
Distributions/Sales:  Fortissimo Films (International), Media Asia (Asia),
The Weinstein Co. (US), Beijing Galloping Horse Film & TV Production (China)
Producers:  John Woo, Terence Chang
Director:  Su Chao-pin
Co-director:  John Woo
Screenplay:  Su Chao-pin
Cinematography:  Horace Wong
Action Director:  Stephen Tung
Art Director:  Yang Baigui
Costume Design:  Emi Wada
Make Up:  Connie Lai
Production Design:  Simon So
Music:  Peter Kam
Editor:  Cheung Ka-fai
Category:  Martial Arts/ Action Thriller/ Mystery
Countries/Regions:  Taiwan, Hong Kong, China
Filming:  Nov. 2009 - Feb. 2010, Mainland China & Taiwan
Budget:  US$12 million
Running Time:  118 minutes
Cast:  (surnames are in color)
Zeng Jing .... Michelle Yeoh
Jiang Ah-sheng .... Jung Woo-sung
Cao Feng (The Wheel King) .... Wang Xueqi
Ye Zhanqing (Turquoisie) .... Barbie Hsu
Lei Bin .... Shawn Yue
Xi Yu (Drizzle) .... Kelly Lin
Lian Sheng (The Magician) .... Leon Dai
Zhang Renfeng .... Guo Xiaodong
Mrs. Cai .... Paw Hee-Ching
Monk Jian Hui/Lu Zhu (Wisdom) .... Calvin Li
Tian Qingtong .... Jiang Yiyan
Qing Jian (Kongdong Teal Sword) .... Pace Wu
Killer Bear .... Matt Wu
Doctor Li .... Jin Shi-Jie
Eater Bear .... Angeles Woo
Master Xing Chi/Delusion .... You Benchang
Zhang Dajing .... You Liping
Songyang Sword .... Han Zhi
... .... Ma Shuliang
Butcher Zhu .... Qin Weidong

Festival Selection: 
Venice Film Festival (Out of Competition), 2010
Pusan International Film Festival, 2010
Brisbane International Film Festival (Closing Film), 2010
Dubai International Film Festival, 2010
International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2011


Zeng Jing
Michelle Yeoh

Jiang Ah-sheng
Jung Woo-sung

Wheel King
Wang Xueqi

Turquoisie
Barbie Hsu

Lei Bin
Shawn Yue

Magician
Leon Dai

Drizzle
Kelly Lin




Recent Films:
Crouching Tiger 2
Final Recipe
The Lady
Reign of Assassins
Among the Great Apes
Turning Point
The Mummy 3
Babylon A.D.
Far North
All Films
News
Main


Reign of Assassins
Release Dates:
(subject to change)
2010:
Sept. 28, Mainland China
Oct. 7, Hong Kong
Oct. 7, Singapore
Oct. 14, Malaysia
Oct. 14, South Korea
Oct. 14, Thailand
Oct. 22, Taiwan
Nov. 12, Vietnam
Dec. 24, Turkey
2011:
Aug. 27, Japan
2012:
Aug. 3, Italy
2013:
Feb. 15, UK
Apr. 4, Portugal
2014:
May 29, UAE
May 29, Bahrain


On This Site:
Film Stills
Posters
Trailers & Videos
Event Photos


Official Website:
Hong Kong official website
Chinese official website
Japanese official website


Reviews & Articles:
Hollywood Reporter:
- Replacing guns and bombs with flashing swordplay, aerial fighting and fantasy effects, the beautifully balanced story finds time for humor and a piercingly romantic finale...
- The ending is moving and poetic, confirming the acting depths of the two principals, who are much more than martial-arts stars.


Screen Daily:
- As a action-packed tale of martial arts revenge and killings, the impressively staged Reign of Assassins certainly delivers the goods in stylish fashion.
- Michelle Yeoh remains a wonderfully charismatic talent, aging gracefully but still retains a poise and style that really sets her apart.


Film Business Asia:
- A tip-top cast, well-crafted script and punchy action capture the classic essence of the swordplay genre.
- Without heavy resort to visual effects, and without going too far down any one stylistic road, the film gives new life to a genre that's been pulled every which way in the past 20 years in search of new thrills.


Variety:
- Pic reps a fine showcase for Yeoh, whose Zen-like elegance renders her command of swordsmanship and hand-to-hand combat all the more impressive.

Screen Daily:
- Reign Of Assassins started life when producer Terence Chang, partner with John Woo in Lion Rock Productions, was looking for an action vehicle for international star Michelle Yeoh. After several meetings with Taiwanese writer-director Su Chao-pin, he decided on a wuxia film to showcase Yeoh's skills as a martial artist...



Reign of Assassins:
|Film Stills|   |Posters|   |Trailers |   |News & Event Photos|   |Film Index|

Synopsis: 
        Produced by John Woo and Terence Chang, this epic martial arts action thriller promises to be FACE/OFF meets MR AND MRS SMITH. Set in ancient China, the film stars Michelle Yeoh as a skilled assassin who is on a mission to return the remains of a mystical Buddhist monk to their resting place. The remains are believed to hold a powerful secret. Along the way, she falls in love with a man named Jiang, whose father was killed by her gang. Unaware that he also is a trained martial artist, their love blossoms but tensions arise as the truth of her past unravels. Soon, a lethal triangle surfaces between her, Jiang and the team of assassins that are after the monk's remains.

Story (SPOILER WARNING)
        In ancient China, in a time of non-stop inter-clan warfare, Drizzle is the top assassin of a gang known as The Dark Stone. After a career of robbing and killing, she decides she wants to start a new life. As a gesture of atonement, she returns the remains of a mystical Buddhist monk to his tomb. It is rumored that the remains contain the secret to obtaining absolute power and whoever possesses them can control the martial arts world. In order to escape from The Dark Stone and rid her life of violence and bloodshed, Drizzle decides to undergo a drastic procedure to alter her appearance, to change her name to Zeng Jing (Michelle Yeoh), and to move to the Capital. Keeping a low-profile as a shopkeeper, she falls in love with and marries a messenger named Jiang Ah-Sheng (Jung Woo-Sung). However, their peaceful life is soon disrupted when Zeng's identity as Drizzle is unveiled in a dramatic fight and confrontation with her old gang, The Dark Stone. Amidst all the chaos and fighting, Jiang, her husband, reveals his true identity to her - he is the son of a government official that she murdered when she was still a member of The Dark Stone. Once both their identities are exposed, a lethal triangle in which allegiances are made and broken emerges between Drizzle, Jiang, and The Dark Stone, who will stop at nothing in their efforts to obtain the monk's remains and rule the martial arts world.


Reign of Assassins News: 
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(05/28/14) [updated 05/29] Reign of Assassins is being released in cinemas of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The film was screened at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2010.

(01/08/14) Reign of Assassins will be on Australia's SBS One, Saturday January 11 at 9:30pm.

SBS: Michelle Yeoh, woman of action

(05/10/13) - Some new or higher resolution images from Reign of Assassins:


(1) Michelle Yeoh as Zeng Jing   (2) Michelle and Jung Woo-sung   (3) Jiang Yiyan as Tian Qingtong


(L to R) action director Stephen Tung, cinematographor Horace Wong, costume designer
Emi Wada, director Su Chao-pin, producers John Woo, and Terence Chang

- Cast descriptions from Italian pressbook, in both English and Italian.




(03/27/13) Reign of Assassins (Reino de Assassinos) will be released in Portugal on April 4, by ZON Lusomundo. (trailer)


a new film still and Portugal poster

(02/21/13) Two new film clips (in Mandarin with English subtitles) and official UK DVD trailer:
Reign Of Assassins: Battle Of The Best   (01:03)
Reign Of Assassins: Lady In Bed   (01:26)
Official UK DVD Trailer   (01:51)


(1) AD in Total Film magazine   (2) UK DVD cover

Reign of Assassins UK DVD can be pre-ordered at Amazon UK. And several UK websites are offering chances of winning a copy of the DVD: shop4martialart, screengeek, Empire, flickeringmyth

(02/18/13) Michelle's latest martial ats/wuxia film, Reign of Assassins, is now showing in UK cinemas, and UK DVD will be released on February 25th.

"I love my martial arts and action movies," said Michelle. "They give another dimension to the acting world: the emotional plus the physical. But I choose them carefully - this is the first one I've really done since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

(01/08/13) Reign of Assassins will be heading to UK cinemas on February 15, announced Ratpack Films. 103 minutes. English subtitled. BBFC rating 15 for "strong violence".

Press release: Reign of Assassins - "The best wuxia film since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."


(09/17/12) Reign of Assassins (French title: "Le Regne des Assassins") will be screened at the 7th Chinese Film Festival in Paris on September 23rd, Les 3 Luxembourg.

(09/05/12) Film stills and behind the scene images:


(1-2) stills: Michelle and Jung Woo-sung   (3) Jung Woo-sung at filming


(1-2) Michelle, Jung Woo-sung and director Su Chao-pin

(08/21/12) Reign of Assassins will be screened at the Montreal Chinese Film Festival on August 22nd, 7PM. (ticket)

(08/10/12) More stills. The film is currently showing in Italy under the title "La Congiura della Pietra Nera".




(08/06/12) HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHELLE!!

(07/31/12) Film stills:



(07/12/12) Reign of Assassins will be featured at the 2012 Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Canada (July 19 - August 9). (schedule & ticket)

(07/09/12) - Reign of Assassins received the MPAA (U.S.) rating "R" for "violence." The Weinstein Company has not announced a U.S. release date.

- Reign of Assassins is scheduled to be released in Italy on August 3rd by Tucker Film. Italian title: "La Congiura della Pietra Nera".

Italian trailer (01:55)

(05/15/12) - Reign of Assassins (French title: "Le Regne des Assassins") will be showing at the 2012 Festival du Cinema Chinois en France (FCCF, Chinese Film Festival in France, May 14 - June 12) in various cities including Paris, Lyon, Marseille, and Biarritz. (Program)

- French DVD/Blu-ray of Reign of Assassins will be released on June 1st, 2012. (Amazon.fr)

- German DVD/Blu-ray of the film (title: "Dark Stone - Reign of Assassins") is scheduled to release on September 20, 2012. (Amazon.de)


(09/15/11) Reign of Assassins will be screened at Korea's 2011 Chinese Film Festival, to be held from September 26 to October 2 at CGVs in Seoul and Busan/Pusan.

(08/18/11) Reign of Assassins (Jian Yu) was nominated as "Best Co-production Film" and Michelle was nominated as "Best Overseas Chinese Actress" at China's 14th Huabiao Awards. The award ceremony will be held on August 28.

(08/18/11) Interview with director Su Chao-pin
Excerpts:
GiantRobot: There is a bit of interesting casting. Michelle Yeoh, who has played other strong female leads, looks spectacular in the role of Drizzle. What lead to your decision to cast her?

Su Chao-pin: This screenplay was tailor made for Michelle. Right from the beginning, we thought that she was the only one who could play this role. Although she is not young anymore, she is still the best actress in the martial arts movie genre. I can't emphasizes enough how important it is to have an actress that can really fight. Because you don't have to do this [covers his face with his hand]. If you see an actor covering his face with his hand, it's a stunt double. For Michelle, we can always have a close up of her, and she can do all the action herself. That is very important. If you see the movie again, you will not see the actors' faces in the fight sequences except for Michelle. You can always see her face.

(08/18/11) Images from Japanese promotion:






(08/06/11) HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHELLE!!

(07/28/11) A Reign of Assassins press conference was held in Tokyo, Japan on July 27th, with John Woo and Su Chao-pin in attendance. The film will be released in Japan on August 27. (Event photos)

Japanese trailer (01:55)
Japanese official website

(07/25/11) CSB Interviews Su Chao-pin, Director of Reign of Assassins

(07/16/11) Reign of Assassins will be screened at the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival on July 24th & 25th, Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

(07/12/11) Video: Discussion with Su Chao-pin at NYAFF (06:21, in English)

Reign of Assassins had its New York premiere (a sold-out show) during the New York Asian Film Festival on July 9th. (Event photos)

NYAFF Review: Reign of Assassins

(07/06/11) Reign of Assassins is scheduled to release in Italy in February 2012 by Tucker Film. The Italian title is "La Congiura Della Pietra Nera" (translation: The Plot of the Black Stone).

(07/01/11) Reign of Assassins will have two screenings on July 9th and 10th at the New York Asian Film Festival (tickets). Director Su Chao-pin will attend the New York premiere of the film which will be screened as a part of a special focus - "Su Chao-pin: Taiwan's King of Entertainment".

(05/31/11) The theatrical release date of Reign of Assassins in Japan has been set for August 27, 2011.

(05/26/11) To celebrate the release of Reign of Assassins Australian DVD (June 22nd), Madman Entertainment is holding a contest for winning a copy of the DVD and a samurai sword umbrella. Ends on June 21st. Australia only.

(05/10/11) - Reign of Assassins is listed as an official selection film for the New York Asian Film Festival 2011 (NYAFF, July 1-14). The film will be presented by Taiwan's Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York City.

- Casa Asia Film Week, a new film festival (replacing the previous Barcelona Asian Film Festival) to be held in the Casa Asia Headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, will feature Reign of Assassins as the opening film on June 9th.

(04/21/11) Reign of Assassins is screening at the CPH PIX, the annual international film festival in Copenhagen Denmark, on April 20 & 26. (schedule & tickets)

(04/13/11) Reign of Assassins will be screened on April 14th at the 7th Bucharest International Film Festival in Romania. (program)

(04/11/11) Reign of Assassins will be screened on Saturday, April 16th during the 18th Beijing College Student Film Festival as a competition film. (tickets)

(04/06/11) - Reign of Assassins was selected as a competition film at the 29th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, which runs April 7 - 19. (schedule & tickets)

- Reign of Assassins is scheduled to be released on Australian DVD and Blu-ray on June 22nd, by Madman Entertainment. Region 4 (PAL), Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles, 115 min, with Making of Reign of Assassins and theatrical trailer.

(03/25/11) - Reign of Assassins will be screened on April 7th at the Cinema Pacific Film Festival, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.. Producer Terence Chang, who is an alumnus of the university, will be a special guest and "A Conversation with Terence Chang" will be held at the same day as a part of the Cinema Pacific Industry Symposium. (tickets)

- Reign of Assassins will be screened during the World Cinema Showcase 2011 (April-May) in Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin, New Zealand. (schedule)

(03/21/11) - Reign of Assassins will be screened at the 11th Belfast Film Festival in Northern Ireland, April 3rd.

- Reign of Assassins was selected as a competition film at the 18th Beijing College Student Film Festival, which runs from March 26th to April 28th.

(03/02/11) An edited version of Reign of Assassins will be distributed to airlines by Entertainment in Motion, starting this month. (Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia only.) Rated PG-13.

(02/20/11) Reign of Assassins will be screened at the BigPond Adelaide Film Festival (Feb. 24 - Mar. 6) in Australia. (schedule & tickets)

(02/10/11) Reign of Assassins was nominated in 11 categories at the 30th Hong Kong Film Awards, including the Best Picture and Best Director, but only one in the acting category (Wang Xueqi for Best Supporting Actor ). During an interview director Su Chao-pin said while he is very happy to see the film got nominated in so many categories, he also thinks Michelle deserves a nomination for her outstanding performance. "She got nominated at the Asian Film Awards but not the Hong Kong Film Awards," Su said. "Perhaps people paid so much attention on her action part that they overlooked her acting part. In fact she was excellent in the drama part which is very heavy in this film." Su also said being dubbed (in Mandarin) may have cost the acting nods for Michelle and Jung Woo-sung since the voice acting is also counted as a part of acting.

The awards ceremony will take place on April 17th.

Reign of Assassins was nominated in the following categories: Best Film, Best Director (Su Chao Bin), Best Supporting Actor (Wang Xueqi), Best Cinematography (Horace Wong), Best Film Editing (Cheung Ka-fai), Best Art Direction (Yang Bai-gu and Simon So), Best Costume and Make-Up Design (Emi Wada), Best Action Choreography (Stephen Tung), Best Visual Effects (Foo Sing Choong), Best Original Music (Peter Kam), Best Film Song.

(01/21/11) Reign of Assassins will have three screenings during the 40th International Film Festival Rotterdam: Thu Jan 27, 20:00 (sold out), Fri Jan 28, 22:00, Sat Feb 5, 16:00.  Information & Ticket.

(01/20/11) There were three nominations announced for Reign of Assassins at the 5th Asian Film Awards: Michelle Yeoh (Best Actress), Su Chao-pin (Best Screenpaly), and Peter Kam (Best Music Score). Presentation ceremony will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 21 March, 2011.

(01/10/11) Taiwanese director Su Chao-pin was named best director for Reign of Assassins at the 17th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards. Reign of Assassins is the top one among the seven recommended 2010 films by the Hong Kong Film Critics Society.

(01/07/11) - Reign of Assassins will be shown at the 40th International Film Festival Rotterdam, which runs from January 26 to February 6, under "Signals: Water Tiger Inn."

- Vietnamese poster.

(12/03/10) Some images from Hong Kong magazine "Movie" (Huan Qiu Shou Ying), issue 14, 2010.


(11/28/10) Reign of Assassins will be shown at the 7th Dubai International Film Festival (December 12-19) on Friday, December 17, 08:00PM, as an official selection for Cinema of Asia Africa. (Tickets)

(11/18/10) - Hong Kong DVD (REGION 3) and Blu-Ray of Reign of Assassins will be released next week (November 25) by Mega Star.

- The Turkish release date of the film has been set at December 24.

(11/10/10) Some tidbits:

- In addition to the cameo appearance by film composer Peter Kam (the man who was killed by Barbie Hsu in the film), director Su Chao-pin also had a cameo in the film, as a man killed at the Tongbao Bank. But it will be difficult to recognize him as you probably only see his back.

- "Handsome man" Jung Woo-Sung's height gave the crew some problems. While filming a raining scene in which the two leads seek cover under the eaves, Jung is so tall that not only did they have to make Michelle wear elevator shoes to match his height, but they also had to take down the original eaves and build higher ones. During his action sequences, the tallest stuntmen they could find were still too short in front of Jung. The action choreographer had to design special moves so that the stuntmen were off the ground most of the time by either jumping down or leaping up.

- Because director Su Chao-pin kept changing the script during filming, most of the actors were not sure of the fate of their characters, including Michelle, who was heard discussing her character with others on set: "What if Zeng Jing dies at the end... what if she survives..."

- Wang Ying, a former team leader of the Shanghai Female Martial Arts Team, was a stunt double for both Kelly Lin and Michelle in Reign of Assassins. Wang told reporters that she was a real double for Kelly Lin - they shot her moves and Lin's face in many action sequences. For Michelle, she mainly served as a stunt tester to make sure it was safe enough. After the action choreographer designed a sequence, Wang would try it out first, and then explain to Michelle in detail how it should be done, and where extra attention should be paid. Then Michelle would do it herself. If there was a problem during the test, the sequence would be re-designed. Wang said it was harder to be Michelle's double than Kelly Lin's. The Reign of Assassins shoot was the hardest among her more than ten years of stunt doubling as filming was going on day and night. "I remember once I worked about 30 hours in a row," said Wang. Nevertheless, Wang said she liked the challenge and it was very rewarding when a highly difficult stunt sequence was accomplished.

- During an interview when asked if she felt pressure to do a martial arts film after so many years (her last martial arts film was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which was filmed ten years ago), Michelle said the biggest pressure was that the action director Stephen Tung often said to the stuntmen: "Look, Michelle can do this." Then a group of 20 some stuntmen would come to watch her to do the stunt!

- HQ film images:




(11/04/10) Reign of Assassins will be released in Vietnam on November 12th, through Megastar and Galaxy Cinema. A trailer can be seen in the above Megastar link, in Mandarin Chinese with Vietnamese, traditional Chinese, and English subtitles. (thanks Melody)

(10/26/10) - Chinese media reported that a TV series based on the story of Reign of Assassins is currently under development. The Chinese production company is also planning on possible prequel and sequel to the film.

- Reign of Assassins will have two market screenings (on Nov. 3rd & 6th) during the upcoming American Film Market in Santa Monica, California. I believe you need to purchase an Industry Badge in order to attend screenings (anyone is allowed to purchase the badge which costs minimum $275).

- Testing version of Reign of Assassins tie-in video game, RoA Online (in Chinese).

(10/21/10) - Reign of Assassins will be the closing film of the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) which runs from November 4-14, Queensland, Australia. (Tickets)

- Short Taiwanese trailer (00:18)
   On October 14th, John Woo, Taiwanese director Su Chao-pin, and Taiwanese actor/director Leon Dai attended a press conference in Taipei (Event photos). Reign of Assassins opens this Friday in Taiwan.

(10/16/10) Articles:
    Michelle Yeoh's labour of love (The Star)
    Still flying high (New Straits Times)
    Human face of wuxia (The Sun Daily)
    John Woo and his first martial arts production (The Star)
    Back in (killer) action (SingTel)

(10/12/10) - According to Taiwanese media, Reign of Assassins is currently scheduled to be released in the U.S. next spring by the Weinstein Company.

- A press screening of Reign of Assassins was held in Taiwan on the 11th. Taiwanese media highly praised the film. The pan-Asian production had many Taiwanese talents on board, including director/writer Su Chao-pin, actors Barbie Hsu, Kelly Lin, Pace Wu, Jin SHi-Jie, and Matt Wu. The film opens in Taiwan on October 22nd.


more Taiwan posters

(10/11/10) Media Asia (Hong Kong) Reign of Assassins posters. The film opened in Hong Kong on October 7th.


(10/07/10) Film title song MV: Jian Yu Fu Sheng (English translation: a Floating Life of Swords and Rain) (03:52. performed by Sa Ding Ding and Greeny aka Wu Tsing-Fong)

(10/07/10)






(1-2) Guo Xiaodong vs Kelly Lin   (3) Barbie Hsu   (4) Wang Xueqi

(10/06/10) - Thai trailer (01:48)   and   Thai poster. The film opens in Thailand on Oct. 14th.

- There will be two screenings of Reign of Assassins at the 15th Pusan International Film Festival, Busan, South Korea, as a part of "A Window on Asian Cinema," at 09:30PM Oct. 8 and 09:30AM Oct. 10, in Lotte 4. On October 5th, South Korean actor Jung Woo-Sung attended a press conference and media screening of the film in Seoul. The film opens in South Korea on Oct. 14th.

(10/04/10) - A decade after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Michelle Yeoh has returned to the martial arts genre in Reign of Assassins: Read article

- Reports from Singapore:
Reign of Assassins Press Conference, Singapore
Yeoh's Still Kicking Up A Storm

- Videos:
1. Michelle Yeoh interview at Singapore press conference (in English with a bit Mandarin) part 1 (04:52) part 2 (03:16) part 3 (02:06) part 4 (04:13)
2. Reign Of Assassins Singapore gala premiere (11:13 in Mandarin)

(10/01/10) Michelle, producer/director John Woo, and director Su Chao-pin were promoting Reign of Assassins in Singapore today, October 1st. (Photos)

(09/29/10) - Reign of Assassins premiered in Hong Kong on the 29th. Michelle, together with John Woo, Su Chao-pin, Jung Woo-Sung and Shawn Yue attended press conference, media interviews, and the film premiere. See Event Photos.
  Video 1: Reign of Assassins Hong Kong premiere (03:51, in Mandarin, Cantonese, & Korean)
  Video 2: report on Hong Kong press conference & premiere   (02:17 in Mandarin)

Michelle, John Woo, and Su Chao-pin will be in Singapore attending the red carpet event on Oct. 1. Premiere events will also be held in Malaysia and Taiwan next month.

- On Septemebr 27th, a premiere and press conference were held in in Guangzhou, China. John Woo, Su Chao-pin, Leon Dai and Paw Hee-Ching were in attendance.

(09/29/10) Videos from film promotional events in Beijing (in Mandarin Chinese):
    Premiere ceremony   (02:36, including Michelle brandishing her Water-shedding Sword, Sa Dingding performing the title song, with some MV scenes)
    Red carpet of premiere ceremony   (02:41)
    Premiere report   (01:34)
    Special coverage of Jianyu premiere   (04:21)
    Press conference report   (00:37)
    Press conference report   (02:00)
    Press conference report   (04:19)
    Michelle Yeoh and Leon Dai on Sina   (09:29)

(09/27/10) Beijing press conference and premiere ceremony took place on Sunday September 26. John Woo, Su Chao-pin, Michelle, Jung Woo-Sung, Wang Xueqi, Shawn Yue, Barbie Hsu, Leon Dai, Pace Wu, Calvin Li, Paw Hee-Ching, Jiang Yiyan, and Sa Dingding attended the events. Michelle, John Woo, Wang Xueqi, Shawn Yue, Barbie Hsu, Pace Wu and Leon Dai also participated in multiple promotional events in Beijing including TV show recording and media interviews. More photos of the events can be seen in Event Photos. Reign of Assassins opens in Mainland China tomorrow.


press conference: Michelle Yeoh (Malaysia/Hong Kong), director Su Chao-pin (Taiwan), producer/director John Woo (Hong Kong),
Leon Dai (Taiwan), Barbie Hsu (Taiwan), Pace Wu (Taiwan), Paw Hee-Ching (Hong Kong)



Jung Woo-Sung (South Korea), Calvin Li (Mainland China), Wang Xueqi (Mainland China)


"Reign of Assassins" ("Jianyu") press conference
(L to R) Shawn Yue, Pace Wu, Jung Woo-Sung, John Woo, Su Chao-pin, Michelle, Wang Xueqi, Calvin Li, Barbie Hsu, Paw Hee-Ching, Leon Dai



"Reign of Assassins" premiere red carpet
(1-2) Michelle and Jung Woo-Sung   (3) Leon Dai, Jiang Yiyan (Mainland China), Wang Xueqi, Calvin Li, Shawn Yue (Hong Kong)
(4) John Woo and Su Chao-pin   (5) (L to R) ?, Jung Woo-Sung, Michelle, John Woo, Su Chao-pin, Leon Dai, Shawn Yue, Pace Wu, ?, You Benchang



"Reign of Assassins" Beijing premiere
last photo: Sa Dingding performs the "Jianyu" title song

(photos from "Netease", "Mop", "iFeng", "QQ" and "ChinaNews")

(09/24/10) Shanghai premiere of Reign of Assassins took place on September 24. Producer/director John Woo, director Su Chao-pin, actors Wang Xueqi and Leon Dai attended the premiere. (Event Photos)
    Michelle will be attending the premieres of Reign of Assassins in Beijing (Sept. 26), Hong Kong (Sept. 29) and Singapore (Oct. 1).

(09/24/10) - It seems that some of the scenes in the images and behind the scenes videos will not appear in the final cut of the film. In an interview with "Nanfang Daily," director Su Chao-pin revealed that the initial cut of the film was three hours long. He and Cheung Ka-fai (editor) made a version of 122 minutes (not including end credits). The length of the final version is 113 minutes (not including end credits). Su said as he can remember the scenes which were completely cut out included: a scene at a river bank involving Kelly Lin, Jiang Yiyan and Shawn Yue; a scene of Jung Woo-Sung discovering Wang Xueqi's secret while delivering the mail in an official's palace; Leon Dai trying to kill himself with a rope; three pairs of assassins hiding in a farm house to kill Kelly Lin; Wang Xueqi teaching Barbie Hsu martial skills and how to kill.

- Watch for these cameos:
   * a female assassin is killed by Kelly Lin soon after the film starts and that is John Woo's daughter, Angeles Woo. And that scene was directed by John Woo.
   * a man is killed by Barbie Hsu in her bed. He is Peter Kam, the composer of the film.
   * Chinese actress Jiang Yiyan, who plays Shawn Yue's wife, originally had 5 or 6 scenes in the film but in the final cut she only appeared twice - both times being sick and lying in bed.

- In the film Michelle's voice is dubbed (Mandarin Chinese). That's too bad. We could hear her real voice in the first promo reel video, but not in the later released official trailers. I believe Jung Woo-Sung is dubbed too (needs to be confirmed).

(09/24/10) New film stills and HQ version of some previously released stills:






(09/23/10)

cast photos

- Singapore poster.


(09/21/10) - Reign of Assassins Beijing premiere will be held at the National Convention Center on Sunday September 26th, 6:00PM, followed by a Meeting With Fans session. According to media, Michelle, together with John Woo, Su Chao-pin and the rest of the main cast members including Jung Woo-Sung, Wang Xueqi, Shawn Yue, Barbie Hsu, Leon Dai, Guo Xiaodong, Jiang Yiyan and Calvin Li will attend the events.

- Video: Behind the Scenes: Dream of Jianghu   (03:48 in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean)

- Film stills from Taiwan promotion:




- Film images: another identity of Wang Xueqi, the Wheel King:


(09/17/10) - Reign of Assassins will open in Taiwan on October 22nd. Taiwan poster.

- Video: Behind the Scenes: Relationship   (03:39 in Mandarin and Cantonese)
    featuring Michelle vs Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu vs Wang Xueqi, Shawn Yue vs Jiang Yiyan, and Kelly Lin vs Calvin Li.

- More images:

(1) (2) (4): Michelle and Jung Woo-sung
last photo: Michelle and Chinese veteran actor You Benchang who plays a master monk who gives advice to Michelle



scenes with Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu

(09/16/10) According to Singapore news, press conference and gala premiere of Reign of Assassins in Singapore will be held on October 1. Michelle, Su Chao-pin, John Woo, together with Chinese actor Wang Xueqi, Taiwanese actresses Barbie Hsu, Kelly Lin, Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue, and Korean actor Jung Woo-Sung will attend the events. Additionally, John Woo and Su Chao-Pin will also be attending an exclusive dialogue session with public at the Golden Village Plaza Singapura (GV Plaza), followed by a special screening of the film in the evening (buy tickets). Reign of Assassins opens in Singapore on October 7th.

(09/15/10) Set photos:



wedding scene. last photo: Michelle, Jung Woo-sung and their matchmaker, Paw Hee-Ching


John Woo's daughter Angeles Woo plays a cameo role
(1) Angeles Woo with John Woo (L) and Su Chao-pin (R)   (2) John Woo and Angeles Woo on set

(09/15/10) Image at left: Malaysian poster. The Malaysian release date for Reign of Assassins has been set at October 14th.

(09/15/10) Film title song: Jian Yu Fu Sheng (translation: a Floating Life of Swords and Rain)
    The song was performed by Chinese folk singer and songwriter Sa Ding Ding together with Greeny (Wu Tsing-Fong), the lead singer of Sodagreen, a Taiwanese folk-rock-pop band. The song was based on a piece written by Sa Ding Ding, who is of mixed Han and Mongolian ancestry, and whose ethnic music often blends Buddhist mantras, Tibetan chants, and electronic music. Part of the lyrics was re-written according to the film story.
    "La la la la la la la la la la la I'm a flower walking free..."

(09/13/10) - Fortissimo Films has announced more sales for Reign of Assassins - California Filmes for Brazil, Madman for Australia and New Zealand. The film has already sold to The Weinstein Company for North America and South Africa, Metropolitan for France, Wild Bunch for Germany, Lionsgate for the UK, United King for Israel, Lusomundo for Portugal, Film Depot for the CIS, Boogee Younghwa for Korea, Falcon for the Middle East, Umut for Turkey, Impuls for Switzerland, Vision for Poland and Discovery for the Former Yugoslavia. Fortissimo Films Chairman Michael J. Werner said: "The fact that so many high profile distributors have acquired this movie underlines the confidence we had for the project and team behind it from the outset - we know this film will be loved by audiences across the world." Fortissimo Films handles the sales of the film outside Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South East Asia. Beijing Galloping Horse Film & TV Production distributes the film inside Mainland China, and Media Asia is in charge of the other Asian territories. See the left column for announced release dates.

Chinese premiere ceremonies are planned in several cities in Mainland China - Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, starting on September 24th. Hong Kong premiere is scheduled on September 29th.

- Stills, cast posters, and HQ film poster from Korean promotion. The film is to be released in South Korea on October 14th.
  Watch Korean trailer   (00:31)






(09/10/10) - Reign of Assassins will be screened at the 15th Pusan International Film Festival, to be held October 7-15, Busan, South Korea, as a part of "A Window on Asian Cinema."

- Video: Behind the Scenes: Weapons   (05:48, in Mandarin and Cantonese)

(09/09/10) - Hong Kong official website  (Chinese and English)
MAJOR SPOILER ALERT! "Synopsis" (second half of "About the Film") contains major spoilers and basically gives away all the story...

(09/09/10) - Media Asia (Hong Kong) has released an official trailer. It's similar to the previously released Chinese trailer. This one has English subtitles.
    Watch Trailer   (01:52, in Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles)

- Videos:
    'Reign of Assassins' takes on Venice (02:04, in English, Michelle, John Woo, with film scenes)
    Sword, sword, sword - behind the scenes (03:54, in Mandarin, behind scenes with Michelle, Barbie Hsu, and Wang Xueqi)
    Movie report: Jianyu (02:46, in Mandarin and Cantonese, Michelle and Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu and Wang Xueqi, with film scenes)
    Interview with Michelle Yeoh and Su Chao-pin in Vencie (07:33, in Mandarin, Chinese text)

- Several advanced screenings have been held in Beijing for theatre managers and industry people. The reactions were excellent. Story/script, characters/performances, and action scenes were all highly praised. The film is said to be "like a classical Wuxia novel," "like a classical Chinese painting," and, "the best Wuxia film after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

- Director/script-writer Su Chao-pin said it was John Woo and Terence Chang who asked him to write a script for Michelle. After he came out with the story, he felt he was not so sure about the deep emotion of the female character and he asked Michelle for help. Su said if the audience thinks the character is well written then half of the success should go to Michelle as she provided a lot of ideas. Michelle said she is blessed to have this film tailor made for her. She had been waiting for a good Wuxia role after Crouching Tiger. (It has been exactly 10 years!)


official posters from Hong Kong, China, and poster from Fortissimo Films

(09/07/10) Film stills and cast photos.




(09/06/10) According to "Variety," the co-production of Hong Kong/China/Taiwan "will undergo some tinkering before opening Stateside as a Weinstein release." The Weinstein Co. has the distribution rights in North American and South African.

(09/06/10)


(1) "Face Off" teaser poster   (2) another Mainland China teaser poster


(1) Michelle Yeoh   (2) Barbie Hsu and Shawn Yue   (3) Jung Woo-sung   (4) Kelly Lin and Jiang Yiyan
(5) Shawn Yue, Barbie Hsu and Leon Dai

(09/05/10) Videos from Venice:
    premiere red carpet (05:04)
    Reign of Assassins press conference (25:23)   (in Italian, English, Chinese, and Korean. Michelle's part - in English - is around 22:00-24:10)

Interviews with Michelle and director Su Chao-pin (in Mandarin Chinese):   Video 1 (07:10)   Video 2 (01:45)

(09/03/10) - Film reviews: Hollywood Reporter   Screen Daily   Film Business Asia

- According to "Variety", the distribution rights for Reign of Assassins has been sold to France (Metropolitan Film Export), Germany (Wild Bunch Germany), and Latin America (HBO Latin America), in addition to previously reported sales including North American (Weinstein Co.), U.K. (Lionsgate), and Russia and the Baltic (Film Depot/Volga Films).

- News photos of Reign of Assassins press conference and the world premiere during the 67th Venice Film Festival. (additional photos can be seen in Reign of Assassins: News & Event Photos)


Reign of Assassins world premiere: Michelle Yeoh, Jung Woo-sung, Shawn Yue, Pace Wu,
Su Chao-pin, John Woo and his wife Annie Woo and daughter Angeles Woo (who had a cameo in the film)



red carpet of Reign of Assassins world premiere


(1) director Su Chao-pin holding the new issue of "Variety" which features Reign of Assassins on the cover
(2) press phtocall (L to R): Terence Chang, Angeles Woo, John Woo, Su Chao-pin, Pace Wu, Jung Woo-sung, Michelle, Shawn Yue

(photos from "Getty Images", "Picapp", "Reuters" and "Epoch Times")

- Fortissimo Films's newsletter and AD on "Variety":


(08/31/10) Chinese official trailer   (01:30 Mandarin Chinese)
Not sure about the actual film, in this trailer the voices of some of the actors are dubbed, including Michelle's.

(08/31/10) Character design images of "Jianyu Online," the tie-in video game for Jianyu (Reign of Assassins), by Taiwan's Gamania Digital Entertainment which is one of the investors of the film. The online game is scheduled to release this year.

Reign of Assassins Online Michelle Yeoh / Zeng Jing Jung Woo-sung / Jiang Ah-sheng

Kelly Lin / Xi Yu Wang Xueqi /
King of Dharma Wheel
Shawn Yue / Lei Bin Leon Dai / Magician

(08/29/10) - Behind the scenes photos: director Su Chao-pin (in yellow) directing a scene in which Jung Woo-sung is supposed to carry Michelle. Reportedly they tried dozens of different ways before the final shot.


- More stills which were released earlier of the month:


(1-2) Shawn Yue   (3-5) Barbie Hsu and Wang Xueqi


(1-2) Guo Xiaodong as Zhang Renfeng   (3-5) Leon Dai


Wang Xueqi, leader of the Dark Stone

(08/26/10) - La Biennale official announcement: Friday, Sept. 3: the 'John Woo day' at the Venice Film Festival   world premiere of Jianyu (Reign of Assassins); two introductory screenings

- The release date of Reign of Assassins in South Korea has been set at Oct. 14.

- In Reign of Assassins: News & Event Photos: photos from the launch ceremony of the Chinese official website and star posters, August 19.

(08/23/10) The world premiere of Jianyu (Reign of Assassins) will take place on Friday, September 3rd during the 67th Venice International Film Festival (Out of Competition), 09:30PM at Sala Grande (Grand Hall, Palazzo del Cinema), following the award ceremony of the Golden Lion For Lifetime Achievement to John Woo. Another public screening will be held at the same evening, 10:30PM at PalaBiennale. Tickets for both events can be purchased online at Biennale Cinema. Fortissimo Films will also have several screenings for press and industry during the festival. The first press screening will be held in the evening of September 2nd.

Taiwanese media reported that John Woo, Su Chao-pin, Michelle, Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu, Shawn Yue, and Pace Wu will attend the premiere.

(08/20/10) - Producer/director John Woo was in China promoting Reign of Assassins on the 19th and 20th. He brought several film supporting actors, Wang Xueqi, Shawn Yue, Guo Xiaodong, Calvin Li, and Leon Dai to Beijing and attended the official website launch ceremony and various media interviews. Woo revealed that the film rights have been sold to 5 territories in North America and Europe and the prices sold are even higher than his Red Cliff.

- New film stills and HQ version of some previously released stills:


Michelle as Zeng Jing   (1-3) Zeng Jing's home


Yunhen Temple


Tongbao Bank


(1-4) falling in love in the rain   (5) Michelle in a restaurant scene


night battle


Kelly Lin plays Xi Yu


Jiang Yiyan plays Shawn Yue's wife. last photo: Jiang Yiyan and Angeles Woo


Jung Woo-sung


(1) Kelly Lin   (2-4) Leon Dai

(08/18/10) - Chinese official website launched.


wallpapers (1-2) 1920x1080, (3-4) 1440x900

For more wallpapers and many more film stills please visit the official site.

- Two days after releasing the posters for the six main female film characters, the Chinese distribution company released posters for the six main male film characters: Jung Woo-sung, Wang Xueqi, Shawn Yue, Leon Dai, Guo Xiaodong and Calvin Li.


(08/16/10) Chinese folk singer and songwriter Sa Dingding sings the title song for Reign of Assassins. Watch video (01:43)

(08/16/10) - New official synopsis: (SPOILER WARNING)
        In ancient China, in a time of non-stop inter-clan warfare, Drizzle is the top assassin of a gang known as The Dark Stone. After a career of robbing and killing, she decides she wants to start a new life. As a gesture of atonement, she returns the remains of a mystical Buddhist monk to his tomb. It is rumored that the remains contain the secret to obtaining absolute power and whoever possesses them can control the martial arts world. In order to escape from The Dark Stone and rid her life of violence and bloodshed, Drizzle decides to undergo a drastic procedure to alter her appearance, to change her name to Zeng Jing (Michelle Yeoh), and to move to the Capital. Keeping a low-profile as a shopkeeper, she falls in love with and marries a messenger named Jiang Ah-Sheng (Jung Woo-Sung). However, their peaceful life is soon disrupted when Zeng's identity as Drizzle is unveiled in a dramatic fight and confrontation with her old gang, The Dark Stone. Amidst all the chaos and fighting, Jiang, her husband, reveals his true identity to her - he is the son of a government official that she murdered when she was still a member of The Dark Stone. Once both their identities are exposed, a lethal triangle in which allegiances are made and broken emerges between Drizzle, Jiang, and The Dark Stone, who will stop at nothing in their efforts to obtain the monk's remains and rule the martial arts world.   (Fortissimo Films)

- Posters for the main female film characters, released by Mainland China distributor Beijing Galloping Horse Productions:


Michelle Yeoh: the central character of the story. John Woo's ideal image of a Xia Nv (swordswoman) For the sake of love, she stops killing. Also for the sake of love, she picks up her sword again
Barbie Hsu: a naive and gifted assassin. Killing and lust are her desires
Kelly Lin: the most dramatic changes happen to the female assassin who seems unapproachable
Pace Wu: the assassin of the Kongdong Clan, who kills mercilessly with her fast blade
Jiang Yiyan: "I would rather weep at home than roaming the Jianghu world," she is the only female character that Zeng Jing (Michelle Yeoh) is envious of in the film
Paw Hee-Ching: the matchmaker, the key character who brings the male and female leads together
(text translated from "Sina")

(08/11/10) Reign of Assassins Chinese teaser trailer and several behind the scenes videos:
    - Teaser trailer (01:17)
          "JIANYU" - Zeng Jing (Michelle Yeoh), Jiang A-sheng (Jung Woo-sung), Dark Stone Leader: King of Dharma Wheel (Wang Xueqi), Dark Stone Member: Zhan Qing (Barbie Hsu), Dark Stone Member: Lei Bin (Shawn Yue), Dark Stone Member: Xi Yu (Kelly Lin), Dark Stone Member: The Magician (Leon Dai), and Guo Xiaodong, Pace Wu, Calvin Li, Paw Hee-Ching, Jiang Yiyan. The first martial arts epic from John Woo.
          Voice translation:
          "I wish to be the last person you kill"
          "you will die if you meet a real skilled martial artist"
          "someone is watching you"

    - Behind scenes: Shawn Yue's Jianghu skills (02:07)
    - Behind scenes: Shawn Yue and Jiang Yiyan (01:51)
    - Behind scenes: Leon Dai's magic (02:27)
    - Behind scenes: Guo Xiaodong (02:00)

(08/06/10) HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHELLE!!
Birthday Greetings to Michelle

(08/06/10) "Reign Of Assassins started life when producer Terence Chang, partner with John Woo in Lion Rock Productions, was looking for an action vehicle for international star Michelle Yeoh. After several meetings with Taiwanese writer-director Su Chao-pin, he decided on a wuxia film to showcase Yeoh's skills as a martial artist. ..."   (read the full article on Screen Daily: Reign of Assassins)

(08/06/10) Action scenes from Reign of Assassins:


(1) Michelle vs Wang Xueqi   (2-3) Michelle vs Barbie Hsu   (3) Shawn Yue


(1-2) Leon Dai vs Wang Xueqi   (3) Kelly Lin vs Angeles Woo   (4) Calvin Li vs Kelly Lin

(08/04/10) Film stills:


(1) Michelle and Jiang Yiyan   (2) Michelle blocking darts   (3) Barbie Hsu   (4) Shawn Yue   (5) Jiang Yiyan


(1) Wang Xueqi   (2-3) Pace Wu   (4-6) Guo Xiaodong

(08/02/10) Producer/director John Woo talked about Reign of Assassins on the Jianyu Martial Arts Forum held in Beijing on August 2nd. He talked about the chivalrous (Xia) and the sword (Jian) traditions in ancient China. He said although the weapons which appeared in his films were mostly guns, among all the weapons he loves the sword the most, and he thinks the sword is a symbol for the righteous. Woo said it is a shame that Kendo (Way of the Sword) has been lost in China. In order to prepare for the film, he had to go to Japan, who learned Kendo from China during Tang Dynasty, to look for materials.

Woo showed some shots of the film's main characters and their weapons. He said Michelle, the main film lead, has the character of a heroine (Xia Nv) in her nature, and her portrayal of a heroine is absolutely believable. Woo also revealed in the film Michelle's sword is in fact a "soft sword" - it can either be soft or hard when attacking. "She uses her sword like the frenzy of a storm, or as calm as a drop of water," Woo described Michelle's martial movements as "very powerful and accurate."

Video: John Woo talks weapons in Reign of Assassins   (03:46, Mandarin Chinese)

Images of film characters with their weapons:




    (1) Michelle and her Pishui (Water-shedding) Sword. The sword has a certain softness, like rain when she waves it.
    (2) Jung Woo-sung's Cenci (Varied) Swords consist two swords, one longer and one shorter.
    (3) Shawn Yue's hidden weapon set.
    (4) Wang Xueqi and the Sword of King of Dharma Wheel. Wang is the leader of the assassin group and the teacher who taught Michelle the sword techniques. But he hid some unique skills and never taught her those unexpected tricky moves.
    (5) Leon Dai plays a magician. His double blades can shoot fire.
    (6-7) John Woo promoting "Jianyu" (Reign of Assassins) on the martial arts forum


(07/30/10) - The 2010 Venice Film Festival lineup has been announced. Jianyu (Reign of Assassins) has been selected as an "Out of Competition" film (for important works by directors already established in previous editions of the festival). Running 117 minutes, the film will be premiered on the evening of Friday, September 3, "John Woo Day," on which director Woo will receive his Golden Lion For Lifetime Achievement. Woo, director Su Chao-pin, Michelle, Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu, and Shawn Yue are expected to attend the world premiere.

- According to "Hollywood Reporter" and "Los Angeles Times," The Weinstein Company currently has Reign of Assassins on their upcoming North American release list for this year. No specific date has been announced.

(07/30/10) Sketches of various weapons designed for the film:


(1) left: Pishui (Water-shedding) Sword - Michelle's weapon   right: sword of King of Dharma Wheel (Wang Xueqi)
(2) Cenci (Varied) Swords, used by Jung Woo-sung
(3) left: short spear used by Jung Woo-sung   right: flying needles/darts used by Shawn Yue
(4) Leon Dai's hooks and rope   (5) Songshan Sword and Songyang Sword
(6) three Wudang swords   (7) design of Barbie Hsu's weapon

(07/27/10) - Media Asia has announced that Reign of Assassins will be released in Hong Kong on October 7th. The release dates of the film have been set at Oct. 10 in Taiwan, Oct. 7 in Singapore, and Sept. 28 in Mainland China.

- Reportedly the world premiere of the film will be held on September 3rd at the 67th annual Venice Film Festival (Out of Competition).

(07/25/10) Concept drawings of set design:


(1) front gate of Zeng Jing's home   (2-3) Feng Yang Restaurant   (4) Tong Bao Bank
two main killers' attacks take place at Feng Yang Restaurant and Tong Bao Bank



(1) night scene of the home of officer Zhang Haiduan. this is the place where story starts
(2) home of King of Dharma Wheel (main villain, played by Wang Xueqi)
(3) Yun He Temple - a major battle will take place here toward the end of the film   (4) Xiao Dong Inn

(07/21/10) The theatrical release data of Reign of Assassins in Taiwan is set at October 8th, by Taiwanese film distribution company Long Shong.

(07/19/10) The first Chinese trailer of Jian Yu (Reign of Assassins), described in the previous update, is online: watch trailer (00:29)

The trailer is from Mainland China's co-production company, Beijing Galloping Horse Productions. The theatrical release in Mainland China has been set at September 28.
    "Present at the 67th Venice International Film Festival, 2010"
    "The first martial arts epic from John Woo"
    "Michelle Yeoh, Jung Woo-sung"
    "Wang Xueqi, Barbie Hsu"
    "Shawn Yue, Kelly Lin, Guo Xiaodong, Jiang Yiyan, Leon Dai, Paw Hee-Ching, Jin Shi-Jie, Pace Wu, Calvin Li, Angeles Woo"
    "Jian Yu"
    "Global release September 28"
    "Beijing Galloping Horse Productions"



pictures from the trailer

(07/16/10) - According to Chinese media, the first official trailer of Reign of Assassins will be attached to Feng Xiaogang's new film Aftershock (Chinese title: "Tangshan Earthquake"), to be released on July 22 in China. According to the report, the trailer, which lasts 29 seconds, shows no real scene or character from the film. It consists captions written in traditional Chinese on Chinese paintings. Various drums, mixed Chinese instruments, and sound of swords chafing were used to create a mysterious atmosphere.

- The photo at left is a "family photo" of the key crew members taken on a filming set of Reign of Assassins. Right to left: John Woo's long term partner, Hong Kong producer Terence Chang, Hong Kong/Hollywood producer/director John Woo, Taiwanese director/scriptwriter Su Chao-pin, Japanese costume designer Emi Wada, director of cinematography Horace Wong (Hong Kong), and action director Stephen Tung (Hong Kong).

(07/12/10) Images from the Reign of Assassins special report on Chinese magazine "Movie View", June 2010 issue.


(1) Jianyu Jianghu (Rain of Swords in the Martial Arts World)
(2) First time in a John Woo film, a female character is the center of the film   (3) Most of Kelly Lin's scenes involve sword  



(1) Wang Xueqi and Barbie Hsu rehearsing   (2) Su Chao-pin directing a scene with Kelly Lin and Jiang Yiyan (left)
(3) Producer/director John Woo (left) on the film set   (4) Wang Xueqi and director Su Chao-pin   (thanks Crystal!)

(07/07/10) - A global search for the best calligraphic title for Jian Yu (Chinese title of Reign of Assassins) was launched on July 5th in Beijing and it will last until early August. The winning calligraphy will be used for the film title and posters.

- Several sets of Reign of Assassins images have been released recently:


Michelle Yeoh, Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu, Pace Wu, Shawn Yue


Kelly Lin and Calvin Li (Li Zongsheng)


Barbie Hsu plays a "perverted killer"

(07/05/10) New concept poster and some images from the Reign of Assassins game design. The scenery design for the game is based on the design of the film, according to the game developer.


(1) film concept poster   (2) Zeng Jing's home   (3) farm house   (4-5) Yunhe Temple

(06/13/10) Reign of Assassins team on the red carpet of the opening ceremony of the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival, June 12th.

Video: Barbie Hsu and Shawn Yue; Pace Wu, Su Chao-pin, and Angeles Woo; Jung Woo-sung and Michelle.   (02:14 in Mandarin)


(1-3) Michelle and Jung Woo-sung   (4) Shawn Yue and Barbie Hsu
(5) (L to R) John Woo's daughter Angeles Woo, director Su Chao-pin, and Pace Wu
(photos from "Sohu", "163" and "Getty". More photos see News & Event Photos)

(06/12/10) A press conference of Reign of Assassins was held on June 12th in Shanghai during the Shanghai International Film Festival. Producer/director John Woo, director Su Chao-pin, Michelle, Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu, Pace Wu, and Shawn Yue attended the press conference and accepted media interviews. The Chinese title of the film, originally "Jian Yu Jiang Hu" (Jianyu Jianghu), has been simplified to "Jian Yu", literal translated as "Rain and Swords" or "Rain of Swords".

John Woo said the nonstop heavy rain made the shooting very difficult, but he likes Reign of Assassins as much as he liked his Red Cliff. He described Michelle's character, whose nickname is "Drizzle", as having a sword style like rain drops, and said her action scenes will be even more impressive than the ones she had in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Michelle said although both are martial art films, her character in Reign of Assassins is very different from Crouching Tiger. She said the character was written for her and she is very excited to work with John Woo. "Everyone on the film set respects him (Woo)," said Michelle, "he pays attention to even very small details." She also praised her co-star, Korean actor Jung Woo-sung. Jung said shooting Chinese action films is quite different from Korean action films. He said he worked very hard so he would not look bad compared to Michelle. He said Michelle taught him many action techniques.

Barbie Hsu said during filming her action scenes, she almost injured everyone in the stunt team and joked that they were all afraid of her and trying to avoid her. She said Michelle helped her on how to protect herself and avoid injuring others, and she has learned a lot from Michelle. She also said that during the filming Michelle often brought snacks to the crew. "As long as Michelle was on set, everybody was happy," said Hsu.

The Chinese release of the film is aiming for the end of September.

Photos from the Reign of Assassins Shanghai press conference. For more photos from the event see News & Event Photos.


(1) Michelle and Jung Woo-sung   (2) Michelle and John Woo   (3-6) Michelle at media interview
last photos (R to L): John Woo, Michelle, Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu, Su Chao-pin Pace Wu, and Shawn Yue

(photos from "Sohu" and "QQ")

(06/11/10) The Weinstein Company has acquired North American and South African rights to Reign of Assassins. The film, which is currently under post-production, is expected to hit theaters in Asia in the fall. TWC is considering releasing the pic simultaneously in North America and South Africa, reported "Variety", "Hollywood Reporter" and "Screen International".

The deal was negotiated by Michael J. Werner and Winnie Lau for Fortissimo and Peter Lawson and Michal Podell Steinberg for The Weinstein Company. Commenting on the deal, Werner said: "Bob and Harvey have a long and illustrious track record of handling compelling and commercial cinema from Asia. We are thrilled that this great project resonated with them and we look forward to working with them and their team in the months ahead to position Reign of Assassins for commercial and critical success in their territories."

Harvey Weinstein said: "I am thrilled to be back in business with Michelle Yeoh and am very excited to be working with John Woo on another one of his brilliant films... I look forward to working together in bringing this film to audiences around the world."

Fortissimo Films handles the sales of the film outside Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South East Asia, while Media Asia is in charge of the Asian territories.

(06/08/10) Producer/director John Woo will bring the leading cast of Reign of Assassins to the opening ceremony of the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival on June 12th. According to the Chinese media, the main cast and crew members will accept media interviews in the afternoon and they will walk on the red carpet of the opening ceremony in the evening. The theatrical release of the film is currently scheduled for the end of September.

Reign of Assassins will be premiered during the Venice International Film Festival, to be held from September 1st to the 11th. It has been confirmed that Michelle, Jung Woo-sung, and John Woo will attend the premiere.

(05/28/10) The tie-in video game for Reign of Assassins, developed by Taiwan's Gamania Digital Entertainment which is one of the investors of the film, will be displayed at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show, to be held on September 16 - 19.


"Reign of Assassins" tie-in game images

(05/24/10) New official synopsis:
        Produced by John Woo and Terence Chang, this epic martial arts action thriller promises to be FACE/OFF meets MR AND MRS SMITH. Set in ancient China, the film stars Michelle Yeoh as a skilled assassin who is on a mission to return the remains of a mystical Buddhist monk to their resting place. The remains are believed to hold a powerful secret. Along the way, she falls in love with a man named Jiang, whose father was killed by her gang. Unaware that he also is a trained martial artist, their love blossoms but tensions arise as the truth of her past unravels. Soon, a lethal triangle surfaces between her, Jiang and the team of assassins that are after the monk's remains. (Fortissimo Films)

(05/09/10) Reign of Assassins will be premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in September.

During a public event last Friday, Michelle told the reporters that the film is currently under post-production and she has not seen it yet. She said speaking Mandarin lines in the film was not easy for her and Jung Woo-sung, especially when they had to recite Buddhist literature. Both of them practiced a lot and tried their best, said Michelle. Asked for how long she is going to continue to make action films, Michelle answered that she will continue till she does not want to do it anymore, and at the moment she truly enjoys making them.

The 67th Venice International Film Festival will take place from September 1 to 11. Producer/director John Woo will be awarded with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

(04/29/10) Set photos: doctor's ship - film set built at the Ah Rong Film Studio, Taipei County, Taiwan.



(photos from "Sina", "Yam", and "Gamer")

(04/25/10) A media set visit and press conference was held on April 25th at Ah Rong Film Studio in Lin-Kou, Taipei County, Taiwan. The last leg of Reign of Assassins filming will be taking place in Taiwan. Previous photography was completed in Hengdian, Mainland China at the end of February. Production in Taiwan will finish a couple of remaining key scenes.

Attending the press conference were Michelle, Korean actor Jung Woo-sung, Taiwanese director Su Chao-pin, and veteran Taiwanese actor Jin Shi-Jie who joined the production to play a famous doctor. Mainland Chinese actor Guo Xiaodong was supposed to attend but his trip to Taiwan was delayed because he forgot to bring his entry visa. During the press conference it was also announced that Jung Woo-sung has signed up with Michelle and Terence Chang's Stellar Entertainment.

A large ship set was built at the Ah Rong Film Studio which cost 3 million Taiwan dollars (about US$96,000). Taiwan filming will last about two weeks.

Videos from the press conference (in Mandarin Chinese):
  video 1 (01:54)   video 2 (02:05)   video 3 (01:41)

News photos from the Taiwan press conference. For more photos from the event see News & Event Photos.


Michelle and Jung Woo-sung


(1-2) Michelle at the press conference (3)(L to R) Jung Woo-sung, Michelle, Su Chao-pin and Jin Shi-Jie
(photos from "Sina", "Epoch Times", "Liberty Times", "Mop", "Yahoo" and "China Times")

(04/15/10) Reign of Assassins promo trailer   (02:04, in Mandarin with English subtitles)
[notes on 04/21] I was asked to remove the Reign of Assassins Promo Reel video as it was not an official release. Sorry, you will have to wait for an official trailer. Here are some scans from the video.



(03/25/10) Teaser poster of Reign of Assassins by Media Asia. (wu-jing.org)

(03/24/10) Hong Kong's Media Asia Films unveiled footages and teasers for some of the company's upcoming productions including Michelle's Reign of Assassins at the Hong Kong Filmart (Hong Kong International Film & TV Market). Reign of Assassins is aiming to release during the third quarter of the year.

    Video: Media Asia 2010 Line-Up Preview   (05:09 in English. footage of "Reign of Assassins" from 02:22 to 02:43)
    Video: Reign of Assassins Footage Only   (00:22)

The footage features Michelle, Jung Woo-sung, Kelly Lin (toward the end), and if I'm not mistaken, also producer/director John Woo's daughter Angeles Woo (the fighting lady at the beginning part).

(03/22/10) During a public interview last weekend, Michelle said she had been busy for 4 months working on her new Wuxia film Reign of Assassins with directors John Woo and Su Chao-pin. She said the filming was not too hard for her as she exercises a lot and she is very fit. However action filming was challenging since action choreographer Stephen Tung designed many special wired sequences. Michelle said the difficult part was that Hengdian had been really cold and wet. Temperatures were so low that actors' lips often turned blue during night filming.

(03/18/10) - The production of Reign of Assassins will be moving to Taiwan later in the month. Principal photography was completed in Mainland China at the end of last month. Taiwan filming will finish a couple of remaining key scenes. Most of the post-production will be done in Taiwan.

In earlier interviews, reporters asked Michelle whether she will have longer fight sequences in Reign of Assassins like she had with Zhang Ziyi's character in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Michelle said yes and she revealed that the most intensive fight sequence will happen between her and Wang Xueqi, who plays the leader of "The Black Stone" gang. Last week she also mentioned to Malaysian media that there will be a sequence in which she "flies" on the rooftops. "I think I did well in that scene," said Michelle.

Production started in Shanghai in early November of 2009 before moving to the Hengdian World Studios in the second month. Bad weather with heavy rains made the production go over-schedule and a huge outdoor temple set had to be moved indoors to avoid further weather delays.

Producer Terence Chang said that John Woo was on set most of the time and spent "more than a week directing a fight scene which featured his daughter Angeles as a ruthless assassin."

The key crew members also include Horace Wong (A Better Tomorrow, Hard-Boiled, The Myth) as cinematographer, Japanese Oscar-winner Emi Wada (Revolt, Hero, The Soong Sisters) as costume designer, Stephen Tung (Bodyguards & Assassins, Warriors of Heaven and Earth) as action choreographer, Cheung Ka-fai (Shinjuku Incident, Silk, Police Story III: Supercop) as editor and Peter Kam (Isabella, Silk, Silver Hawk) as music composer. Production and finance come from China's Galloping Horse, Hong Kong's Media Asia and Taiwanese companies Gamania Digital Entertainment and Lumiere Motion Picture Corporation. It is one of the most anticipated Chinese language films of the year.

Media Asia and Fortissimo Films have sold the distribution rights for the film to Clover Films (Singapore and Malaysia), Teguh Bakti Mandiri PT (Indonesia), Sahamongkol Film (Thailand), Galaxy Studio JSC (Vietnam), Boogui Cinema (South Korea), Film Depot (Russia, the CIS region, and the Baltics), Falcon Films (Middle East), Lusomundo Film & TV (Portugal), Vision Film (Poland), United King Films (Israel), and Lions Gate Pictures (UK).

- Some art work of early set design:


(1) county office   (2-3) market set design


(1) courtyard of the county office   (2) a farm house by the river   (3-4) interior design of an inn

(03/10/10) Gamania Taiwan, a major PC online game and digital entertainment corporation in Taipei, Taiwan, announced today that they are developing an online game "Jianyu Jianghu". The beginning part of the Wuxia style game will be a continuation of the film story. "Jianyu Jianghu" online game is scheduled to be released in October at the same time as the film release, said the company. Gamania is one of the investment companies for the film.

(03/09/10) - "Hong Kong Film" January issue has a special on Reign of Assassins with interviews of Michelle, John Woo, and Su Chao-pin. (thanks Crystal for the scans)
Read (in Chinese)   page 1 page 2 page 3 page 4

- Film stills and set photos from "Hong Kong Film" magazine and Taiwanese madia.


Michelle and Jung Woo-sung in Reign of Assassins


(1) Michelle as a swordwoman   (2) Drizzle (Michelle) hides the gold inside bricks
(3) John Woo, Su Chao-pin, Shawn Yue on the film set   (4) filming an action scene

(02/26/10) The production of Reign of Assassins has wrapped up Hengdian filming and it will be moving to Taipei, Taiwan.

Reportedly the production is one month behind the original plan, even though two teams have been shooting at the same time. The crew took only three days break for the Chinese New Year. Taiwanese actor Chang Chen (Michelle's co-star in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) may have to drop out of the project due to schedule conflict. Taiwanese actor Ethan Ruan may replace Chang to play a famous doctor.

Taipei Postproduction is handling the film processing, printing and digital intermediates.

Some set photos from Hengdian filming ("Tom" and "Sina" photos):


(1) Jung Woo-sung in a wired scene   (2) director Su Chao-pin and Kelly Lin   (3) Su Chao-pin in front of green screen
(4) producer and co-director John Woo on set   (5) Michelle with young actor Qi Yiming



(1) Su Chao-pin directing an inn scene   (2) (L to R) John Woo, Su Chao-pin, and action director Stephen Tung (Tung Wai)
(3-5) filming with Mainland actress Jiang Yiyan who plays Shawn Yue's wife in the film

(02/23/10) Filming at the Hengdian World Studios resumed last week and Michelle is currently in Hengdian.

(02/16/10) - From Twitch: "EFM 2010: First glimpse of John Woo's Jianyu Jianghu"
"Now going by the English title of Reign of Assassins, the first promo reel for the John Woo / Su Chao-Bin co-directed feature is available for buyers at the EFM.

The footage included is still quite rough, looking to be completely raw and fresh out of the camera, but still shows plenty of the good stuff. Before making his name as a heroic bloodshed director focused on massive amounts of gunplay, Woo directed films of all genres including classic wuxia films and this is very much a return to that. Michelle Yeoh stars as a woman defecting from a clan of assassins who are less than pleased to see her go. Lot's of old school martial arts action ensues and while the tone of the film seems to be generally quite straight faced there are definite nods to the goofier sides of wuxia as well, including one warrior who fights with a flaming sword clenched in each hand.

Very raw still but quite promising."

- According to "Variety" and "Screen Daily", the distribution rights for Reign of Assassins has been sold to U.K. (Lionsgate), Russia and the Baltic (Film Depot/Volga Films), and Israel (United King) during the EFM (European Film Market). It was also sold to Korea (Younghwa), Portugal (Film & TV House), and Poland (Vision) ahead of EFM. Media Asia is handling the sales in Asia while Fortissimo Films is handling the rest of the world.

(02/09/10) - The film crew will take a break for the Chinese New Year and the filming will start again in Hengdian after.

- More set photos from Reign of Assassins (Jianyu Jianghu) filming sets:


Nov. 9, 2009, Shanghai. filming a market scene
left photo: Michelle walking on set



Jan. 2010, Hengdian.   (1-3) filming a Tong Bao Bank interior scene
(4-5) the lady in blue is Taiwanese actress Pace Wu who plays a Taoist nun with high martial arts skills



Jan. 2010, Hengdian. left photo: director Su Chao-pin on set


Jan. 28, 2010, Hengdian, media set visit
(1) John Woo   (2) Su Chao-pin   (3) Leon Dai   (4) Barbie Hsu, Shawn Yue and Leon Dai
(photos from "sina", "Mtime", "163" and Yu's facebook)

(02/05/10) Chinese TV actor Calvin Li (Li Zonghan), who is famous for portraying "elegant gentlemen" on screen, plays Monk Lu Zhu in Reign of Assassins (Jianyu Jianghu). Li uses a pair of iron chopsticks as weapon. Talking about his role, Li said: "Everyone else in the film is either killing or being killed by others. My character is different. I... killed myself." Li's role is crucial for the development of Xi Yu's character (Michelle).


(1-4) Calvin Li as Monk Lu Zhu   (5) Calvin Li with costume designer Emi Wada

Film stills: postman Jung Woo-sung delivering mail.


(02/02/10) The English title of Jianyu Jianghu is Reign of Assassins.

Fortissimo Films will be presenting the film with the first footage at the upcoming Berlin/European Film Market during the Berlin International Film Festival.


("Fortissimo Films")

(02/01/10) Photos from Hengdian film set: director Su Chao-pin's birthday party, Jan. 28.   ("QQ" photos)


(1) (L to R) producer/director John Woo, producer Terence Chang, director Su Chao-pin and Michelle
(2) blowing out the candles (L to R) Jung Woo-sung, Su Chao-pin and Michelle
(3) Michelle putting a piece of cake on Su Chao-pin's nose   (4) Su Chao-pin handing out birthday cake to John Woo
(5) (L to R) John Woo, Terence Chang, Su Chao-pin, Michelle and Shawn Yue

Director Su Chao-pin explained the meaning of the Chinese title of the film, Jianyu Jianghu. He said the nickname of Jung Woo-sung's character contains "Jian (sword)" and the name of Michelle's character contains "Yu (rain)". "Jianyu" (Swords and Rain) is a symbol of the love between the two main characters. "Jianghu" means the martial arts world.

(01/29/10) - Newly released HQ film stills of Jianyu Jianghu:


(1-4) Michelle as Xi Yu (Drizzle) / Zeng Jing   (5) Michelle and Jung Woo-sung


(1) Jung Woo-sung   (2-4) Barbie Hsu as Zhan Qing   (5) Shawn Yue as Lei Bin

- A media set visit was arranged in Hengdian on January 28th.

Reporters asked Michelle if she is worried of getting injured while filming a martial arts film again after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, during which one of her legs was badly injured. Michelle said: "I was injured in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon when filming the first action sequence and I had to go through surgery. This time when I entered the Jianyu Jianghu set, oh my God, it looked very similar to the set of Crouching Tiger. Memories came back to me right away. We were also filming during a very cold weather. I was thinking, please, do not let anything happen."

Asked if she taught something to the younger actresses such as Kelly Lin and Barbie Hsu, Michelle said she goes to the shooting set to see their filming. She said they are all experienced actresses but it is their first time to be in a martial arts film. "I told them my experiences on how to prevent injuries, where it is easier to get injured, and what to do when they are on wires for the first time and panic."

Since the shooting schedule is tight, John Woo sometimes "guest directed" some scenes, according to the media reports.

Taiwanese director Leon Dai, who is a friend of director Su Chao-pin, guest stars in the film as a handicapped, old killer.

(01/26/10) - 76 year old Chinese actor You Benchang, who became famous for portraying Monk Ji Gong in the Chinese TV series "Ji Gong" 20 years ago, will be seen in Jianyu Jianghu. Reportedly he will play Michelle's master.

- Kelly Lin and Shawn Yue returned to Hengdian filming this week. Filming in Hengdian has been going on day and night. Still, they may not be able to finish before the Chinese New Year as originally planned. Many crew members are concerned as to whether they would be able to go home during the new year holiday. The Tiger Year will start on February 14 this year.

(01/15/10) Jianyu Jianghu filming has been continuing in Hengdian, Zhejiang Province.

Actress Jiang Yiyan has finished her part. She plays a swordwoman who dresses as male. Kelly Lin joined the filming for a week and will return to the set later this month. Producer/director John Woo, his wife, and their daughter were all in Hengdian.

Chinese actor Guo Xiaodong (who co-stars with Michelle in the upcoming True Legend) will join the production soon. Reportedly Guo plays a mysterious role which is very important to the storyline. He will share some scenes with both Kelly Lin and Michelle.


(1-2) Chinese actor Qin Weidong (R) and South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung. Qin plays a butcher in the film
(3) John Woo talking to Jiang Yiyan   (4) Jiang Yiyan and director Su Chao-pin on Hengdian set   ("Sina" photos)

(01/06/10) Taiwanese actress Kelly Lin and John Woo's daughter, Angeles Woo, have joined the Hengdian filming. Angeles Woo plays a cameo role and she will have a couple of scenes in the film. Kelly Lin plays a relatively small yet very important role - (spoiler warning - highlight the text in the brackets if you would like to read) [she plays Xi Yu (Drizzle) before the facial surgery. That is, she and Michelle in fact play the same character. ]

Some images from Hengdian:


(1) producer/director John Woo with a crew member and extras on Hengdian set
(2) Chinese actress Jiang Yiyan plays a martial artist
(3-4) Jiang Yiyan with 10 year old Qi Yiming, who plays "Little Flying Chivalrous"   ("Sina" photos)

It snowed in Hengdian and some filming for Jianyu Jianghu had to be postponed. The bad weather and cold temperatures caused a lot of trouble for film and TV crews (more than a dozen) in Hengdian. According to news reports, one film crew had all of the crew members fall sick. Another film crew was shooting a summer scene but water vapor came out from actors' breaths when they spoke, so they had to suck on ice cubes before filming the scene...

There was also an unexpected problem for some Hong Kong and Taiwan actors on the Jianyu Jianghu set that Twitter and Facebook, which they use frequently, are blocked in China. (The communist regime also blocked YouTube, along with many other overseas websites/blogs.)

(12/30/09) - Jianyu Jianghu has been filming in Hengdian. It was very cold there. Reportedly the temperature was as low as minus ten degrees Celsius.

- Actor Wang Xueqi talked about the film during a recent interview. He said he plays a skilled martial artist, and both Michelle and Barbie Hsu are his disciples. His character does not have major screen time but it is a very interesting role. Wang recounted that during the first few days of his filming he had fight scenes with Michelle. He was very nervous and Michelle kept encouraging him. He said Michelle has excellent action skills. As for himself, Wang said the action director knows he is not an expert so the moves were designed for his level. He tries to do as much as he can, and when he can't, stunt doubles are used. According to Wang, some actors have not yet started their parts, including John Woo's daughter.

(12/09/09) Production of Jianyu Jianghu moved to the Hengdian World Studios in Zhejiang Province at the end of October. Hengdian filming takes place in the studios and the surrounding scenic areas including Fangyan.

Some images from last month's shooting in Shanghai:


(1) Paw Hee-Ching   (2) Pace Wu   (3-4) Shawn Yue
(from Jianyu Jianghu Facebook etc.)

"China Movie Report" published a set interview video with Hong Kong actor and singer Shawn Yue in Shanghai. Yu plays a killer in the film. He said it is the first costume film for him. He will be a hidden weapons expert and he will have a lot of fighting scenes with Michelle.

Video: Set inteview with Shawn Yue   (01:34, in Mandarin)

(11/29/09) Filming in Shaghai is wrapping up. Before the production moves to Hengdian, a media set visit was arranged in Shanghai. and the reporters interviewed some cast/crew members. Several stills and some set photos were released.

Stills and set photos from Shanghai:


(1) Michelle plays Zeng Jing   (2-3) Michelle and Jung Woo-sung


(1) Barbie Hsu's character   (2-4) Emi Wada shows film costumes   (5) director Su Chao-pin on set


Michelle, Jung Woo-sung, and John Woo on media set interviews   ("Sina" photos)

Videos:
    Interview with Michelle   (11:36, in Mandarin)
    Interview with producer John Woo   (14:46, in Mandarin)
    Interview with costume designer Emi Wada   (06:55, in Japanese with Chinese translation)

Producer/director John Woo said after Red Cliff he was planning to film 1949, a Chinese-language war epic/romance set against the back-drop of the final years of China's civil war. Director Su Chao-pin was brought to the script team. After a long period of preparation the project did not work out. (for related earlier reports, see News of Dec 22, 2008, Feb 2, 2009, Mar 3, Mar 24, and Mar 29). When he was picking his next project, Su showed him and Terence Chang a Wuxia story he had written. They loved the script and decided to make the film.

"I thought immediately that the lead character belongs to Michelle. And she liked the character very much after she read the script," said Woo. "Not seeing Michelle fighting on big screen is a waste," Woo added, "She is not only an action actress, but also an excellent actress."

Talking about making a Wuxia film again, Michelle said she is nervous and also looking forward to it. She said she liked the script very much, "especially the complexity and subtlety of the characters. There is no simple good guy or bad guy." She revealed her character was a killer at the beginning and there is a turn in the story - someone changed her life by sacrifying himself. "Not by Jung Woo-sung's character. And I won't tell you now who he is," smiled Michelle. Asked about working with a director who had not filmed a Wuxia or costume film before, Michelle said Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was Ang Lee's first Wuxia/costume film too when they were working together. She will have more action than she did in Crouching Tiger and it is more physically challenging.

South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung said the first day of his filming with Michelle left him a deep impression. "She looked so pure. Our characters fell in love with each other naturally." Jung also said rain is a factor that made the two characters get together. He said he and Michelle often discussed their roles. Asked if Michelle taught him any sword moves, Jung smiled: "We talk about emotions, not fighting."

Oscar winning Japanese costume designer Emi Wada said she spent more than two months for the preparation and she looked at references from the Ming Dynasty. Since most of the characters in the film are ordinary people, so their costumes were intentionally not ironed. Wada said she tries to reflect in her design ordinary people's life from that period. In the film, Jung Woo-sung is a postman and Michelle sells fabric.

(11/28/09) Production of Jianyu Jianghu has been going on in the Shanghai Shengqiang Film Studio since the beginning of the month. Michelle, Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu, Shawn Yue, Leon Dai, Jiang Yiyan, You Liping and Wang Xueqi have been seen on the Shanghai set.

Taiwanese actress and TV host Barbie Hsu, who is the second female lead in the film, spoke to the media during a public event last week and said she has been training hard on her wrists, arms, and balance. She told reporters that she will share battle scenes with Michelle and she is very worried. She is afraid that she might injure Michelle if she makes mistakes, or if she does not do well and has to repeat certain moves many times then Michelle would have to repeat the shots with her. Hsu said she has not really started action scenes yet. She filmed one court scene earlier for which she had to kneel down the whole night, and it bruised her knees.

When Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards announced (on 28th) Mainland Chinese actor Wang Xueqi won the best supporting actor for his role in Forever Enthralled, he was filming a scene with Barbie Hsu. He told reporters afterwards he was so excited that he kept forgetting his lines in the scene which he was supposed to lecture Hsu. Reportedly the two shares a lot of dramatic scenes.

Hong Kong actress Paw Hee-Ching talked about her role in a media interview. She said in the film both Michelle and Jung Woo-sung came to her town and there will be a love story between the two. She tries to be the matchmaker and some scenes are very comedic.

Photos from Shanghai:

left: a matchmaking scene is filmed inside this building (a restaurant)
right: these rooftops are battle fields



Wang Xueqi and Barbie Hsu in makeup room after hearing the news of Wang's award.
You can have a glance of their costumes under their coats. Shanghai has been very chilly.   ("Sina" photos)

(11/27/09) Jianyu Jianghu teaser poster.

(11/16/09) - Filming of Jianyu Jianghu started on November 4th in the Shanghai Shengqiang Film Studio. On the first day the crew team was on set at 2:00AM. The second day, 4:00AM and the third day, 3:30AM. Producer/director John Woo was on set watching the monitor.

Some sneak photos from the Shanghai filming set. The buildings shown on the set include Yue Yang Lou Inn, Tong Bao Bank, Fu Yuan Ju Restaurant, etc..




(3) You Liping as Zhang Dajing, owner of the Tong Bao Bank
(4) You Liping with art director and costume designer Emi Wada

(photos from Yu's facebook and "Sina")

- "Shanghai Daily" quoted John Woo talking about the script: "When I read it three yeas ago, I was very excited. It's one of the best scripts I have ever seen. We decided to film it." Michelle, who plays a retired female assassin in the film, said: "Traditional martial arts films used to simply assign good guy-bad guy labels to the characters,... But in this film, we see complex personalities. The past really haunts the present. Everyone is trying to discover his true self and find balance in life again."

(11/03/09) A press conference and the opening lens ceremony for Jianyu Jianghu were held in the Shanghai Shengqiang Film Studio on November 3rd. Producer John Woo, director Su Chao-pin, and cast members Michelle, Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu, Wang Xueqi, Shawn Yue, and Paw Hee-Ching attended the events, with more than 100 reporters from the Greater China region present.

News Videos (in Mandarin):
video1 (02:41)   video2 (01:17)   video3 (01:37)   video4 (04:18)

News photos from the press conference and the opening lens ceremony:


Michelle Yeoh (1-2), Jung Woo-sung, Barbie Hsu, Shawn Yue, Wang Xueqi, Paw Hee-Ching


(1) John Woo   (2) director Su Chao-pin   (3) Emi Wada, (Japanese) art director and costume designer
(4-5) Su Chao-pin, Michelle, Jung Woo-sung



(1) press conference (L to R) John Woo, Paw Hee-Ching, Michelle, Jung Woo-sung, Su Chao-pin,
Wang Xueqi, Barbie Hsu, Shawn Yue   (2-3) opening lens ceremony: praying for good luck
(4) (L to R) Peter Lam, chairman & CEO of Media Asia, Li Ming, chairman of Beijing Galloping Horse Productions, and John Woo

(photos from "Sina", "163", "Weeklysh" and "QQ")
For more photos from the event see News & Event Photos.

Michelle said she has waited for many years to work with John Woo. "From Hong Kong to Hollywood to Mainland China, finally I have got this opportunity," said Michelle. Jianyu Jianghu will be Michelle's first Chinese costume film since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was shot exactly ten years ago.

John Woo said he always admired Michelle and wished to work with her. But they did not find a suitable project since his past films were all centered on male characters. He said Jianyu Jianghu was his favorite martial arts screenplay over the years and he had been waiting for such a chance to work with Michelle.

South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung, who will play Michelle's husband in the film, said that his role will be a lovable postman.

Hong Kong veteran, the best actress award winner at this year's Hong Kong Film Awards, Paw Hee-Ching (cinematographer Peter Pau's sister) joined the cast too. She said she will play an old lady who sells Toufu. And she will be the matchmaker for Jung Woo-sung and Michelle.

Mainland veteran actor Wang Xueqi will be the leader of a group which rivals Michelle. Barbie Hsu and Shawn Yue are both members of this group as assassins.

Cast will also include Taiwanese actor Chang Chen (who co-starred with Michelle in Crouching Tiger), Taiwanese actress Pace Wu, Chinese actress Jiang Yiyan, Taiwanese actors Leon Dai and Ethan Ruan, and Chinese actor Guo Xiaodong, in addition to the names announced before.

This is director Su Chao-pin's first martial arts film and he finds filming action scenes more difficult than he had imagined. "But we have a very capable martial arts director so I'm not worried," he added, "making a martial arts film has been my dream from childhood."

Principal photography of Jianyu Jianghu starts on November 4th at the Shanghai Shengqiang Film Studio. It is scheduled to move to Hengdian, Zhejiang Province at the end of the month and then to Taipei, Taiwan at the beginning of next year. Chinese media described John Woo as "main director" and Su Chao-pin as "executive director" for the production.

(10/30/09) - Principal photography will begin next week at the Shanghai Shengqiang Film Studio. The stunt team has been training for a month in Shanghai.

- Synopsis [SPOILER WARNING]:
        In 428AD, Bodhi, Prince of Southern India becomes a Buddhist monk and sets off for China earning a hallowed reputation as a mystical martial artist. Following his death, his remains mysteriously disappear. Hundreds of years later, Zhang, a high-ranking court official, is assassinated by Drizzle. His son Jingxiu, whilst mourning his father's death, is attacked by a group of assassins. They leave him for dead, but somehow he survives and escapes their clutches.
        Drizzle, a talented warrior herself, finds herself in possession of Bodhi's remains, and begins her quest to return them to their rightful resting place at the Yunhe Temple. 'The Black Stone,' a team of deadly assassins who employed Drizzle, are also after the remains and the powerful secret behind them. To hide from 'The Black Stone,' Drizzle undergoes drastic facial surgery and changing her name to Zeng Jing (Michelle Yeoh), flees to Beijing, where she meets and falls in love with Jiang, soon to become her husband. After a confrontation in Beijing, Zeng's identity is uncovered and both she and Jiang must flee for their lives. As Zeng kills off members of the gang while they run, she quickly realizes Jiang is actually Jingxiu, and he is seeking revenge for his father's murder. This leads to a lethal triangle and a fight to the death between our hero Zeng, Jiang and 'The Black Stone.' The only question remains who will be the last man standing to uncover the secret of Bodhi's remains...

(10/20/09) Michelle talked about her role in the new film with Singapore media today: "The key message of the story is that we're all living a second life... We're always trying to be something that we're not. The past catches up in the end and tails you no matter where you go. But it's also a story about love." Michelle confirmed that she will join the filming next week.

(10/19/09) Set construction began earlier this month at the Shanghai Shengqiang Film Studio (Shanghai Image Maker) and the Hengdian World Studios.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the romantic Kung Fu thriller will start shooting in Shanghai on October 30. Producer Terence Chang described the film as " 'Face/Off' meets 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' set in the Ming Dynasty." A quarter of the film will be shot in Taiwan. The film is set for a 2010 late-summer release.

(10/10/09) - During a recent interview in Paris, Michelle said she will be shooting a new action film in China with John Woo along the lines of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. "I play an assassin who is trying to leave her world behind her, but finds out it's not so easy," said Michelle.

- Two weeks ago during a Taiwanese press interview, producer/director John Woo said he appreciated very much the talent of director and scriptwriter Su Chao-pin since he saw Su's Silk (2004). When producer Terence Chang showed him the script of Jianyu Jianghu, Woo liked it so much and thought the story is so brilliant that the film has to be made. "This is a highly entertaining martial arts film with a new style. I look forward very much to working with Su Chao-pin."

Director Su Chao-pin said he has enjoyed martial arts novels since childhood and he even practiced some martial arts himself. Talking about the new film, Su said: "The storyline may sound old fashioned. But I would like to discover new meaning form the old elements, and show the true spirit of Jiang Hu." The director said he had already met with Michelle and the male lead Jung Woo-sung. He described Michelle as a "sunshine girl" and said it is very pleasant to talk to her. He said Michelle gave many opinions regarding the script from the feminine point of view, and he looks forward to working with her. Asked whether there will be love scenes among the two leads, Su said: "If there is, I think I will have the lights turned off and make it implicit."

Producer Terence Chang said that South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung speaks Chinese very well and Jung asked not to be dubbed.

Production is scheduled to start in Shanghai this month and move to Hengdian later. Some filming will take place in Taiwan at the end of this year or beginning of next year. Filming is expected to last until March 2010.

(09/23/09) Michelle's next film, Jianyu Jianghu (i.e., "Jian Yu Jiang Hu", literal translation: "Rain of Swords in the Martial Arts World", a.k.a "Rain of swords in the pugilistic world", "The Sword and The Martial Arts World" and "The Swordswoman's World"), will start filming in Shanghai at the end of October.

The Chinese-language martial arts film will star Michelle and South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung (Musa) as the main leads. The story is set in the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644). A swordswoman (Michelle) was seeking a peaceful life. She changed her look and lived quietly. But people in Jiang Hu (the martial arts world) did not spare her because she owned a treasure many martial artists wanted. Jung Woo-sung plays Michelle's husband.

Directed and written by Taiwanese director and scriptwriter Su Chao-pin (Silk) who is well known for mysteries and thrillers, the film was described by producer Terence Chang as a Gu Long (*) style martial arts suspense story with new weapons and new fighting styles. Expect themes on love, hatred, passion, and revenge, with plenty of action and a mysterious plot.   (* Gu Long, 1936-1985, was a famous Hong Kong born Taiwanese martial arts novelist. Michelle's 1993 Butterfly & Sword was a film adaptation of a Gu Long novel which was also set in the Ming dynasty.)

The rest of the cast will include Chinese actor Wang Xueqi (Forever Enthralled, Warriors of Heaven and Earth), Hong Kong actor and singer Shawn Yue (Infernal Affairs), Taiwanese actress, singer and TV host Barbie Hsu (Silk), as well as several acting clients from Michelle and Terence Chang's Stellar Entertainment including Taiwanese actress Kelly Lin and Hong Kong actor Wong Hei. Producer/director John Woo's daughter, Angeles Woo (33), will have a cameo role in the film as a female killer.

The art design team has been in Shanghai since the end of August. Set construction/modeling will begin later on location at Shanghai Shengqiang Film Studio (Shanghai Image Maker), Hengdian World Studios and the surrounding scenic areas in Zhejiang Province. Taiwanese media reported that Media Asia (Hong Kong), Sanlih (Taiwan), and Gamania Taiwan are among the investment companies for the production. Filming will take place in Mainland China and Taiwan.

Links: 
Media Asia official website
Chinese official website



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( page created: 09/23/09,   last modified: 05/28/14 )