Ever since the elegant caper flick Once a Thief in 1991, Terence Chang has worked with director John Woo, either as producer, co-producer, or executive producer. They both moved to the United States after completing the great Hard-Boiled in 1992; Chang has produced non-Woo projects since then (notably several starring Chow Yun-Fat), but his association with Woo has been his one constant. Yet Chang told the International Herald Tribune (IHT) that he ended up in a hospital due to tension with his friend about the upcoming epic Red Cliff.

The conflict arose after Chang read the script. To tell the story properly, he realized that the running time would approach four hours and far exceed the $50 million budget that had been allocated. Woo was not happy when Chang suggested cutting a big battle scene. Eventually they worked things out and agreed that the film should be released in two parts. Chang got to work raising more money. Filming began earlier this year and should be completed this fall, in time for the first installment to open in China before the Beijing Olympics next summer.

Woo and Chang's latest project, Blood Brothers, has met with mixed response in Asia, but for Chang, who's not made a movie in Asia for 15 years, the challenges started with assembling the ensemble cast. "In Hollywood when you make a film, you lock in the actors for however long. Here, they will give you 20 days this month, 10 days another month ... when you have an ensemble film, oh my God!," he told IHT. "Some actors are doing several things at the same time: another movie, a music video. Ahhhhh! They ask you for very specific dates - but what if it rains?" One cast member suddenly quit during filming when the producers of a television show made him a better offer, which understandably shocked Chang. While the veteran producer has spent most of the past three years putting together Red Cliff, he has other irons in the fire, according to IMDb, such as a live-action version of Mulan, serial killer thriller Second Sight and Tom Tykwer's thriller The International.
categories Cinematical