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Tom Cruise vs John Woo For ‘Flying Tigers’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: John Woo and Terence Chang might well be getting off the tarmac first with their WWII saga Flying Tigers. But New Regency, 20th Century Fox, and Tom Cruise are still fighting the good fight on a rival project that carries the  identical title. They’ve hired Kirk Ellis to rewrite a draft of Flying Tigers that was done by Cruise’s Valkyrie scribe Christopher McQuarrie and Mason Alley. Both films are based on the story of the volunteered fighter squadron formed by General Claire Chennault to help the Chinese fight against the Empire of Japan before the United States entered WWII. The aging Chinese planes were no match for the superior Japanese forces, until the volunteers arrived in American-made P-40 War Hawks. The two squadrons flew side by side, in fighter planes emblazoned with the gaping tiger’s teeth logo. After Pearl Harbor, the Flying Tigers became an effective squadron in the U.S. Air Force. Jeff Greene is producing. Read More »

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John Woo Makes IMAX Debut With ‘Flying Tigers’

Mike Fleming

IMAX Corporation announced that John Woo and his producing partner Terence Chang will have their next film, Flying Tigers, digitally remastered for The IMAX Experience. The film–a Hollywood-China joint production with China Film Group as lead Chinese financier–tells the story of the American Volunteer Group and its later incarnation as the 14th Air Force during WWII. Led by Air Force General Claire Chennault, the joint air forces consisted of American and Chinese pilots flying side by side against the Empire of Japan. Shooting begins next spring.

Said Woo: “It has always been a dream of mine to explore shooting with IMAX cameras and to work in the IMAX format and the strong visual element of this film is incredibly well-suited to the tastes of cinemagoers today. Using IMAX for Flying Tigers would create a new experience for the audience and I think it would be another breakthrough for Chinese movies.”

Last week when I wrote about Mike Medavoy and The Wildest Dream director Anthony Geffen’s plans for a company formed to make 3D documentaries on larger than life subjects, Geffen said that exploiting the expanding IMAX screens were an important part of that business plan. Getting in on the ground floor of Chinese produce seems a smart way for IMAX expansion in an untapped region with massive growth potential.

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