Woo, McQuarrie and Cruise on Flying Tigers?
John Woo has given a press conference in China talking about his next film which is a co-production with China and the U.S. with a US $100 million budget which will tell the story of The Flying Tigers, the American volunteers or mercenaries who joined the Chinese Air Force to fight against Japan in World War II, beginning training before America entered the war. They fought with Presidential sanction although all the American pilots and crew were ex-servicemen.
Although there's no mention of who the U.S. backers are this links back to a story from December of last year that revealed a possible writer and studio for a film based on The Flying Tigers.
"This is an extremely important production. Currently, basic preparations for shooting work have already been made and in a month we'll confirm the script. This Yunnan-themed film emphasizes China-US friendship and the contributions of the Flying Tigers and the people of Yunnan during the War of Resistance."
That comment comes from the press conference through /Film, but they have no indication of who the U.S. studio is. Well considering that previous story it seems very likely that this is exactly the same film and production.
Think on that for a moment. If it is true then we could see a Christopher McQuarrie script directed by John Woo, and perhaps starring Tom Cruise, who knows. The actor aside, McQuarrie and Woo could make for a formidable partnership, and with United Artists backing it I think we'd be in for an historically accurate, big budget, action packed film.
The squadron destroyed nearly three hundred enemy aircraft but only lost fourteen pilots on combat missions. There's a little dispute about whether they were volunteers or mercenaries, and with them receiving "bonuses" for the number of kills they made as well as the squadron gaining Presidential approval when they were created, it does seem a little at odds with the volunteer status.
Whatever the motivation behind it, the film sounds like a powerful one. Usually I'd be worried about a production like this and how it might bend historical facts, but with United Artists and McQuarrie behind it, it might actually come out well, and with Woo promising some amazing aerial combat sequences, this might be elevated to something spectacular.