First reports of John Woo's The Battle of the Red Cliff surfaced as much as 18 months ago, and details have been few and far between since then - in fact, some have wondered if, like a lot other announced Woo projects, this one might never advance beyond the discussion stages.

Based on a portion of a 14th century novel about a real-life battle in 208AD (got that?) involving over a million soldiers, the story of the film is wildly complicated. To sum up, "During the battle the joint force of two warlords Sun Quan and Liu Bei defeated the much stronger invading army led by warlord Cao Cao. Shortly after the battle, the Han dynasty officially ended and China split to three kingdoms." Needless to say, there are a whole lot of details not included there, and Woo claimed from the very beginning that the movie would be sprawling and expensive; current speculation puts the budget at about $50 million, which would make it the most expensive film ever produced on the Chinese mainland.

The fact that the movie was originally slated to shoot last year makes it hard to believe any start dates at this point, but a target of September 2006 has been pretty consistent as of late, so the production just might finally be getting off the ground. There is also a fleet of stars supposedly in negotiations to appear in the film, among them Chow yun-Fat, Tony Leung (the one from Chungking Express and 2046, not the other one), and Ken Watanabe. Man, if this movie ever comes out, I am so there.

[via Twitch]
categories Movies, Cinematical