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MANILA, Philippines - From John Woo, director of Mission: Impossible II and Face/Off comes a dazzling visionary epic based on the legendary Battle of Red Cliff in which a force of 50,000 defeated an army of nearly one million.
In 208 A.D., in the final days of the Han Dynasty, shrewd Prime Minister Cao Cao convinces the fickle Emperor Han that the only way to unite all of China is to declare war on the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. Thus begins a military campaign of unprecedented scale, led by the prime minister, himself. Left with no other hope for survival, the kingdoms of Xu and East Wu form an unlikely alliance. Numerous battles of strength and wit ensue, both on land and on water, eventually culminating in the Battle of Red Cliff. During the battle, two thousand ships were burned, and the course of Chinese history was changed forever.
Director Woo was attracted to this story for more than 20 years, but back then, neither the technology nor the market could support a film of this scale and magnitude. The opportunity came in the summer of 2004, when Woo’s producer Terence Chang went to Beijing for the first time, and started putting the financing and production plan together.
With a budget of $80-M, Red Cliff has become the most expensive Chinese language film ever made. The action-packed epic film is also the highest grossing movie in Chinese box-office history.
Says the director, “I truly wish to make a film that can be enjoyed by audiences all over the world. Inside my heart, film knows no boundary. While audiences in the East love many great movies from the West, Western audiences also appreciate our splendid culture of the East. Therefore, I genuinely hope that when you watch Red Cliff, you do not look at it as a Chinese film or a Hollywood film, but as a global film.”