Before I began writing this post about John Woo’s upcoming film Red Cliff, I asked myself a question. What has Zhao Wei been up to since I last saw her in So Close (Chik yeung tin si), Shaolin Soccer (Siu lam juk kau) and Warriors of Heaven and Earth (Tian di ying xiong)? If you haven’t seen any of these films, I suggest you rent them. My initial question was answered when I read the call sheet for Red Cliff.
Red Cliff Trailer
What Zhao Wei has been doing, besides singing, is landing a role in Red Cliff, John Woo’s ode to the Battle of the Red Cliffs (the Battle of Chibi, 208 CE, during the era of the Three Kingdoms in China). The Battle of Red Cliff was “a decisive battle immediately prior to the period of the Three Kingdoms in China in the northern winter of 208 CE between the allied forces of the southern warlords Liu Bei and Sun Quan, and the numerically superior forces of the northern warlord Cao Cao. Liu Bei and Sun Quan successfully frustrated Cao Cao’s effort to conquer the land south of the Yangtze River and reunite the territory of the Eastern Han Dynasty.”
Red Cliff Trailer ( a different cut w/ English subtitles)
The John Woo film has so much footage (4 hours) that it has been split into two parts (episodes). The first part of Red Cliff will be released prior to the beginning of the 2008’s Summer Olympics and the second part at the end of 2008.
Zhao Wei (Vicki Zhao is her English stage name) will play Sun Shangxiang, the only daughter among the six children of warlord Sun Jian and sister to Sun Ce and Sun Quan (Chang Chen). Here is nine minutes of promo footage from Red Cliff shown at the Cannes film festival.