Flying Swords of Dragon Gate

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Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate poster.jpg
Hong Kong poster
Traditional 龍門飛甲
Simplified 龙门飞甲
Mandarin Lóng Mén Fēi Jiǎ
Cantonese Lung4 Mun4 Fei1 Gaap3
Directed by Tsui Hark
Produced by Tsui Hark
Nansun Shi
Jeffrey Chan
Written by Tsui Hark
Starring Jet Li
Zhou Xun
Chen Kun
Li Yuchun
Gwei Lun-mei
Louis Fan
Mavis Fan
Music by Wu Wai Lap
Cinematography Parkie Chan
Johnny Choi
Edited by Yau Chi Wai
Film Workshop
China Film Group Corporation
Shanghai Media Group
Polybona Films
Bona International Film Group
Liangzi Group
Shineshow Co.
Distributed by Distribution Workshop
Release date(s)
  • 15 December 2011 (2011-12-15) (China)
  • 22 December 2011 (2011-12-22) (Hong Kong)
Running time 125 minutes
Country China[1]
Hong Kong[2]
Language Mandarin[1]
Budget US$35 million [3]
Box office US$100 million[4]

Flying Swords of Dragon Gate is a 2011 wuxia film directed by Tsui Hark and starring Jet Li, Zhou Xun, Chen Kun, Li Yuchun, Gwei Lun-mei, Louis Fan and Mavis Fan. The film is a remake of Dragon Gate Inn (1966) and New Dragon Gate Inn (1992). Production started on 10 October 2010 and is filmed in 3-D.[3] The film screened out of competition at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in February 2012.[5] The film received seven nominations at the 2012 Asian Film Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.[6]


The Emperor's eunuchs have gained power and influence, the East Bureau and West Bureau spy and police the nation. They visit the shipyards, but only as a cover to execute those who would try and report their taking of bribes to the Emperor. Wandering hero Zhou Huai'an fights the leader of the East Bureau, defeating him and putting his head in a box and hanging it as a warning to other corrupt officials.

The Emperors chief concubine asks the West Bureau why they waste time on power struggles when she only wants them to protect her from anyone (aside from the emperor) impregnating her. Three courtesans have been executed, a fourth is being hunted down. Officials stop a riverboat and are about to execute a woman but a masked hero intervenes. Zhou watches from nearby and the masked hero also claims to be Zhou. The imposter helps the courtesan flee to Dragons Gate, Zhou and his followers decide to fight the West Bureau help delay them and aid in the escape.

A sandstorm threatens the Dragons Gate, and most of the travelers flee to the more sheltered courier station but a few of the bandits, mercenaries and officials hunting the missing courtesan remain. The group of rogues plan to find a treasure hidden by the sandstorms.



Although this film is based on the story of 1992's New Dragon Gate Inn, Tsui denied that this film would be a remake of the old classic but more of a re-imagining. Tsui also worked on the screenplay in addition to directing and producing the film, to ensure the originality of the story.[7] Before Jet Li was signed on for the role of Zhou Huai'an, Tsui reportedly offered the role to Donnie Yen but he turned it down due to the fact he doesn't wish to be in sequels/remakes of previous films he has already worked on. Jet Li was signed with US$ 12 million contract to star in this film.[8] Li explained his reason for joining this film stating,

This film will be shot entirely in 3D, being the first time 3D is employed in a wuxia film, I'm curious to see to how far a 3D wuxia film can go. I look forward to seeing how technology would inject a new lease of life into the film industry.

I have acquired an affinity with wuxia since young, which led me onto the path of filmmaking, and thereby changing my entire destiny. Director Tsui Hark has placed me upon an enigmatic and vibrant stage, adding another layer of sentimental experience to my life. Stepping into this showbiz, allowed me to look at life from a different angle, and I have never felt that I had ever left the wuxia world.[3]

Actress Zhou Xun was also quoted for her reason for joining this film and she explains,

I was moved to tears when I went through the script, and Tsui Hark's wuxia world has always mesmerized me immensely. And it's often said that Tsui Hark is especially great at creating female roles, if All About Women is a makeover for me, then Dragon Gate is a complete overhaul. I believe that there is a certain power that changes my heart through Lin Yan Qiu.[3]

Tsui also invited Chuck Comisky, the visual-effects supervisor for James Cameron's Avatar, as the 3-D director to manage the special effects.[9] Comisky will lead a team of 3D crew from China, Korea, Singapore, Spain, etc.[3]


  1. ^ a b Kuipers, Richard (2011-12-21). "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate". Variety. 
  2. ^ "FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE". Hong Kong Cinemagic. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Swords Hover Over Dragon Gate Inn". Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  4. ^ James Marsh (2012-05-12). "CHINA BEAT: Tsui Hark & Bona Exploring 3D Together". Twitch. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  5. ^ "18 World Premieres in the Competition". 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  6. ^ "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate receives the most Asian Film Award nominations". Asia Pacific Arts. 2012-01-23. 
  7. ^ "'The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate' Starts Filming". Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  8. ^ "Jet Li Nets $12 Million for New Action Role". 
  9. ^ "The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate starts filming". Retrieved 2011-08-14. 

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