At a press conference on July 22, Woo and the star-studded cast promised that the follow-up film will rake in better box office performance than its predecessor. Promoting the film with Woo were Japanese-Taiwanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro ("Chungking Express" and "House of Flying Daggers), Taiwanese actor Tony Yang ("Blood Brothers"), Chinese superstar Zhang Ziyi ("House of Flying Daggers" and "Memoirs of a Geisha"), and South Korean celebrity Song Hye-kyo ("My Girl and I").
In an interview with Deadline's Nancy Tartaglione, Woo referred to "The Crossing" as his "passion project." He shared that he always wanted to create a film that "captures the turbulence of a changing era" in a "beautiful and sweeping scale." The unfamiliarity of Western audience, moreover of the youth, with uncharted periods of Chinese history was what he wanted to stamp out.
However, his passion was not able to evoke enthusiasm among many viewers when the first part was released in December 2014. Dubbed "the Chinese Titanic," luxury liner Taiping was central to a film brutally described as a "tortuous two-hour build-up to the main act." Woo attributed this sinking performance to hurried post-production and "popcorn entertainment" mind-set prevalent among moviegoers of today.
"If this film had come out several years ago, the reception would have been different," Woo explained.
For the second installment, Woo felt confident with the ample time allotted for its filming, editing, and marketing. He also expects that along with better film production, the post-90s generation comprising most of the audience will have matured in their preferences. Woo holds on to the belief that one day, the majority of moviegoers will go past the "sheer spectacle" of Hollywood trends and look for movies that are "more fulfilling emotionally and spiritually."
"The Crossing 2" will be screened in Chinese theaters on July 30.
97 pictures, featuring His Highness and those he worked with, including Mr. Woo.
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