I guess it was only a matter of time but Netflix is getting into the movie making business. The streaming service known primarily for television series bad Wesley Snipes direct to video releases and 9/11 truther documentaries announced this week that it would team with Weinstein Co. to give a day-and-date release to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, the sequel to Ang Lee‘s 2000 film. The movie will hit Netflix and IMAX simultaneously in summer 2015.
Right out of the gate I have mixed feelings about this. I love my Netflix subscription and I feel same day releases for VOD and theaters is a positive thing. With that being said I think certain types of films should be seen theatrically. I'm the father of a four year so getting out to the movies is much harder these days. This purely for my own selfish reasons but I'm going to ask film distributors and exhibitors to stop making it so damn easy for me to avoid the multi-plex.
I miss going to the theater. I miss the communal experience of watching film. I miss talking about movies with friends for hours. Theaters are still around and movies are still getting a shot at the big screen but as it becomes increasingly easier to watch films at home more and more of us will just stay at home and watch them. The first Crouching Tiger was definitely helped by the theatrical experience. I know this will make me sound like a grumpy old man but the fact that someone will watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend for the first time on their phone gives me the creeps.
Taken from the pres release:
Produced by The Weinstein Company, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend echoes the themes of the original movie, but tells its own story — one of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the Martial World.
Directed by the renowned martial arts choreographer (The Matrix Trilogy and Kill Bill 1&2) and director (Tai Chi Master) Yuen Wo-Ping, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend stars Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Lady) reprising her role as Yu Shu-Lien and Donnie Yen (Ip Man 1&2, Monkey King 3D) as Silent Wolf.
The film is to be the first of several major films backed by Netflix to premiere on the same day on the world’s leading Internet TV network and in select IMAX theaters globally, giving consumers and exhibitors around the world unparalleled flexibility in how, when and where they enjoy a major motion picture.
“Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy an amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredible beauty,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “We are honored to be working with Harvey Weinstein and a world-class team of creators to bring this epic story to people all over the world and to partner with IMAX, a brand that represents the highest quality of immersive entertainment, in the distribution of this film.”
“The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement,” said TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein. “We are tremendously excited to be continuing our great relationship with Netflix and bringing to fans all over the world the latest chapter in this amazing and intriguing story.”
“IMAX has a terrific opportunity, via this partnership with Netflix, to release Crouching Tiger – a high-quality, action-packed film that is right in our wheelhouse — at the end of the summer blockbuster season,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “We are particularly hopeful it will play in our highly successful China market. In territories where we simultaneously release with Netflix, we are excited to offer consumers the option of deciding how, when and where they want to view the film, and exhibitors the opportunity to participate in this alternative form of content in a new and innovative way.”
Based on the acclaimed novel, Iron Knight, Silver Vase, by Wang Dulu (book 5 in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy) and written by John Fusco (Marco Polo) the new film is produced by Harvey Weinstein (Academy Award winner – The King’s Speech, The Artist) and Peter Berg (Emmy Award winner – Friday Night Lights; Lone Survivor, Hancock) and Sarah Aubrey (Friday Night Lights; Lone Survivor, Hancock) and executive produced by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters, The Imitation Game), Ralph Winter (X-Men franchise), Anthony Wong, and Bey Logan (The Medallion).
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend also stars Harry Shum Jr (Glee, Revenge of the Green Dragons), Jason Scott Lee (Seventh Son, Hawaii Five-O), Roger Yuan (Bulletproof Monk), Eugenia Yuan (Revenge of the Green Dragons) and newcomer Natasha Liu Bordizzo.
Principal photography is now underway in New Zealand. The film’s director of photography is Tom Sigel (Drive, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and design is led by the Academy Award®-winning Lord of the Rings team of costume designer Ngila Dickson, production designer Grant Major and visual effects supervisor Mark Stetson.