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Not HERO 2, thank god, but Zhang Yimou has something cool all the same!

Hey folks, Harry here... that HERO 2 thing from a German distributor - was in reference to the next Zhang Yimou film, but as is often the case with Asian films' titles in foriegn countries... they're conveniently changed to maximize awareness in places far away. The name switches on Bruce Lee's movies were infamous. And throughout the seventies this often happened. However, here's the low-down...

Hi, Harry!

I have decided to drop you a note just to correct some misinformation on Zhang Yimou's second martial art film. I have been following this project all the way through just like what I have done for Hero.

The film is not a sequel/prequel to Hero. The Chinese title is Shi Mian Mai Fu, which means "Ambush from Ten Directions". It is originally the title of a 16th Century music piece, usually performed with pipa, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument.

On IMDB, "House Of Flying Daggers" was once indicated as the English title, which has been removed recently ( According to Warner Bros., the film's Japanese distributor, the English title is "Lovers" (

No official plot description has been released yet. However, based on limited information available to the public, I believe the story is something like this:

Spoilers alert!

During the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), two cops (played by Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau) are after a blind singer dancer (played by no other than Zhang Ziyi), a member of the House of Flying Daggers. She is cornered by Andy Lau and sent to jail. Right before her execution, Takeshi Kaneshiro came and took her away. While running as fugitives, they fall in love. And Andy Lau is following them closely behind with his own agenda on Zhang Ziyi. There is a hidden plot which is too spoiling and I will save it for later. Spoilers end.

Most members from the Hero team have returned: producer Bill Kong (also made Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Zhang Weiping; writer Wang Bin and Li Feng; action director Ching Siu-Tung (Shaolin Soccer and three dozen others); costume designer Emi Wada (Akira Kurosawa's Ran?). Composer Tan Dun did not return and his position is filled by Shigeru Umebayashi (In The Mood For Love). And, of cause, director/producer/writer Zhang Yimou.

Filming began on September 11 (the Mid Autumn Day) outside Ukrainian town Lviv. (Ukraine beat out other locations like the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). Two months later the production moved to Beijing Film Studios for indoor shoot and the last stop was the bamboo forest outside Yongchuan city of southwest China.

Hong Kong pop diva Anita Mui was cast for a supporting role, small but vital to the development of the plot. Shooting of her scenes were pushed back again and again due to her health condition (she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in September). And on December 30, she suddenly passed away. Director Zhang Yimou then made a quick script change to fill the plot hole.

The film wrapped up two weeks ago and Zhang Yimou is working on the post-production in Australia right now. He has intended to make a delivery to Cannes Film Festival in May. I don?t know which US studio will be involved in the distribution but it is definitely not Miramax.

A short teaser has been attached to The Last Samurai shown in Japan. It is available here: Click Here

Click here (CLICK) for more: news updates, stills, set pictures, etc.

That's all for this time.

Ye Meng

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