Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
|Flying Swords of Dragon Gate|
|Mandarin||Lóng Mén Fēi Jiǎ|
|Cantonese||Lung4 Mun4 Fei1 Gaap3|
|Literally||Dragon Gate flying armor|
|Directed by||Tsui Hark|
|Produced by||Tsui Hark|
|Written by||Tsui Hark|
|Music by||Wu Wai Lap|
|Edited by||Yau Chi Wai|
|Distributed by||Distribution Workshop|
|Budget||US$35 million |
|Box office||US$100 million|
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) but takes place three years after. Production started on 10 October 2010 and is filmed in 3-D. The film screened out of competition at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in February 2012. The film received seven nominations at the 2012 Asian Film Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
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 Zhao 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 Emperor's chief concubine asks the West Bureau why they waste time on power struggles when she only wants them to prevent the Emperor impregnating anyone aside from her. Three pregnant 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. Zhao watches from nearby and the masked hero also claims to be Zhao. The imposter helps the courtesan flee to Dragons Gate, Zhao and his followers decide to fight the West Bureau to help delay them and aid in the escape.
As a sandstorm threatens and drives most travelers away, a few groups driven by different agendas are determined to stay in the desert at the famous Dragons Gate Inn. Amidst rumors of an ancient city and with Zhao Huai'an and the leader of the West Bureau approaching, events are about to unfold with the Dragons Gate Inn as the stage for an all-out clash.
- Jet Li as Zhao Huai'an
- Zhou Xun as Ling Yanqiu
- Chen Kun as Yu Huatian and Wind Blade
- Li Yuchun as Gu Shaotang
- Gwei Lun-mei as Zhang Xiao Wen/Tribal princess
- Louis Fan as Ma Jinliang
- Mavis Fan as Su Huirong
- Wu Di as Zhao Tong
- Zhuang Guoqi
- Li Yuan as Kuo Zheng
- Gordon Liu as Wan Yulou
- Zhang Xinyu as Royal Consort Wan
- Zha Ka (aka Han Feixing) as H'Gantga
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. 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 has no wish to be in sequels/remakes of previous films he has already worked on. Jet Li was signed with US$12 million contracts to star in this film. Li explained his reason for joining this film stating,
This film will be shot entirely in 3D, is 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.
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.
Tsui also invited Chuck Comisky, the visual-effects supervisor for James Cameron's Avatar, as the 3-D director to manage the special effects. Comisky will lead a team of 3D crew from China, Korea, Singapore, Spain, etc.
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