Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Movie


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Wo hu cang long (original title)

In 19th century Qing Dynasty China, a warrior gives his sword, Green Destiny, to his friend to deliver to safe keeping, but it is stolen, and the chase is on to find it. The search leads to the House of Yu where the story takes on a whole different level.
Taiwan
Hong Kong
USA
IMDb  7.8 /10
Metacritic   94%
Information
Release Date2000-07-06
Runtime2h 0mins
GenreAction, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Content RatingPG-13 (PG-13)
AwardsWon 4 Oscars. Another 97 wins & 133 nominations.
CompanyAsia Union Film & Entertainment Ltd., China Film Co-Production Corporation, Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia
CountryTaiwan, Hong Kong, USA, China
LanguageMandarin
Master Li Mu Bai (as Chow Yun Fat)
Jen Yu (Mandarin version) / Jiao Long (English dubbed version) (as Zhang Ziyi)
Lo 'Dark Cloud' / Luo Xiao Hu
Jade Fox (as Cheng Pei-Pei)
Governor Yu
Madame Yu
Police Inspector Tsai / Prefect Cai Qiu
May (as Li Li)
Gou Jun Pei

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (simplified Chinese: 卧虎藏龙; traditional Chinese: 臥虎藏龍; pinyin: Wò hǔ cáng lóng) is a 2000 wuxia film directed by Ang Lee and written by Wang Hui-ling, James Schamus and Kuo Jung Tsai, based on the Chinese novel by Wang Dulu. The film features an international cast of actors of Chinese ethnicity, including Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen.

A multinational venture, the film was made on a US$17 million budget, and was produced by Asian Union Film & Entertainment, China Film Co-Productions Corporation, Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia, Edko Films, Good Machine International, and Zoom Hunt Productions. With dialogue in Mandarin, subtitled for various markets, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon became a surprise international success, grossing $213.5 million worldwide. It grossed US$128 million in the United States, becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language film produced overseas in American history.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2000, and was theatrically released in the United States on December 8. An overwhelming critical and commercial success, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won over 40 awards and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 2001, including Best Picture, and won Best Foreign Language Film, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score and Best Cinematography, receiving the most nominations ever for a non-English language film at the time, until 2018's Roma tied this record. The film also won four BAFTAs and two Golden Globe Awards, one for Best Foreign Film. Along with its awards success, Crouching Tiger continues to be hailed as one of the greatest and most influential films. The film has been praised for its story, direction, and cinematography, and for its martial arts sequences.


Plot

In 18th-century Qing dynasty China, Li Mu Bai is a Wudang swordsman, and Yu Shu Lien heads a private security company. Yu Shu Lien and Li Mu Bai long have feelings for each other, but because Shu Lien had been engaged to Mu Bai's close friend, Meng Sizhao before his death, Shu Lien and Mu Bai feel bound by loyalty to Meng Sizhao and have not acted on their feelings for each other. Mu Bai, choosing to retire, asks Shu Lien to give his fabled sword "Green Destiny" to their benefactor Sir Te in Peking. Long ago, Mu Bai's teacher was killed by Jade Fox, a woman who sought to learn Wudang skills. While at Sir Te's place, Shu Lien makes the acquaintance of Yu Jen, who is the daughter of rich and powerful Governor Yu and is about to get married.

One evening, a masked thief sneaks into Sir Te's estate and steals the Green Destiny. Sir Te's servant Master Bo and Shu Lien trace the theft to Governor Yu's compound, where Jade Fox had been posing as Jen's governess for many years. Soon after, Mu Bai arrives in Beijing and discusses the theft with Shu Lien. Master Bo makes the acquaintance of Inspector Tsai, a police investigator from the provinces, and his daughter May, who have come to Beijing in pursuit of Fox. Fox challenges the pair and Master Bo to a showdown that night. Following a protracted battle, the group is on the verge of defeat when Mu Bai arrives and outmaneuvers Fox. She reveals that she killed Mu Bai's teacher because he slept with her but refused to take a woman as a pupil, and she felt it poetic justice for him to die at a woman's hand. Just as Mu Bai is about to kill her, the masked thief reappears and helps Fox. Fox kills Tsai before fleeing with the thief (who is revealed to be Jen). After seeing Jen fight Mu Bai, Fox realizes Jen had been secretly studying the Wudang manual. Fox is illiterate and could only follow the diagrams, whereas Jen's ability to read the manual allowed her to surpass her mentor in martial arts.

At night, a desert bandit named Lo breaks into Jen's bedroom and asks her to leave with him. A flashback reveals that in the past, when Governor Yu and his family were traveling in the western deserts, Lo and his bandits had raided Jen's caravan and Lo had stolen her comb. She pursued him to his desert cave to get her comb back. However, the pair soon fell passionately in love. Lo eventually convinced Jen to return to her family, though not before telling her a legend of a man who jumped off a cliff to make his wishes come true. Because the man's heart was pure, he did not die. Lo came to Beijing to persuade Jen not to go through with her arranged marriage. However, Jen refuses to leave with him. Later, Lo interrupts Jen's wedding procession, begging her to leave with him. Nearby, Shu Lien and Mu Bai convince Lo to wait for Jen at Mount Wudang, where he will be safe from Jen's family, who are furious with him. Jen runs away from her husband on their wedding night before the marriage could be consummated. Disguised in male clothing, she is accosted at an inn by a large group of warriors; armed with the Green Destiny and her own superior combat skills, she emerges victorious.

Jen visits Shu Lien, who tells her that Lo is waiting for her at Mount Wudang. After an angry exchange, the two women engage in a duel. Shu Lien is the superior fighter, but Jen wields the Green Destiny: the sword destroys each weapon that Shu Lien wields, until Shu Lien finally manages to defeat Jen with a broken sword. When Shu Lien shows mercy, Jen wounds Shu Lien in the arm. Mu Bai arrives and pursues Jen into a bamboo forest. Mu Bai confronts Jen and offers to take her as his student. She arrogantly promises to accept him as her teacher if he can take Green Destiny from her in three moves. Mu Bai is able to take the sword in only one move, but Jen goes back on her word to accept him as teacher. Mu Bai throws the sword over a waterfall, Jen dives after it, and is then rescued by Fox. Fox puts Jen into a drugged sleep and places her in a cavern; Mu Bai and Shu Lien discover her there. Fox suddenly reappears and attacks the others with poisoned darts. Mu Bai blocks the needles with his sword and avenges his master's death by mortally wounding Fox, only to realize that one of the darts hit him in the neck. Fox dies, confessing that her goal had been to kill Jen because Jen had hidden the secrets of Wudang's best fighting techniques from her.

As Jen leaves to prepare an antidote for the poisoned dart, Mu Bai prepares to die. With his last breaths, he finally confesses his love for Shu Lien. He dies in her arms as Jen returns, too late to save him. The Green Destiny is returned to Sir Te. Jen later goes to Mount Wudang and spends one last night with Lo. The next morning, Lo finds Jen standing on a bridge overlooking the edge of the mountain. In an echo of the legend that they spoke about in the desert, she asks him to make a wish. He wishes for them to be together again, back in the desert, and Jen jumps off the bridge to fly among white clouds.


Cast

  • Chow Yun-fat as Li Mu Bai (C: 李慕白, P: Lǐ Mùbái)
  • Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien (T: 俞秀蓮, S: 俞秀莲, P: Yú Xiùlián)
  • Zhang Ziyi as Jen Yu (English subtitled version) / Yu Jiaolong (English dubbed version) (T: 玉嬌龍, S: 玉娇龙, P: Yù Jiāolóng)
  • Chang Chen as Lo "Dark Cloud" (English subtitled version) / Luo Xiaohu (English dubbed version) (T: 羅小虎, S: 罗小虎, P: Luó Xiǎohǔ)
  • Cheng Pei-pei as Jade Fox (C: 碧眼狐狸, P: Bìyǎn Húli)
  • Sihung Lung as Sir Te (T: 貝勒爺, S: 贝勒爷, P: Bèi-lèyé)
  • Li Fazeng as Governor Yu
  • Gao Xi'an as Bo
  • Hai Yan as Madam Yu
  • Wang Deming as Police inspector Tsai / Prefect Cai Qiu
  • Li Li as May, Tsai's daughter
  • Huang Suying as Aunt Wu
  • Yang Rui as Maid
  • Li Kai as Gou Jun Pei
  • Feng Jianhua as Gou Jun Sinung
  • Ma Zhongxuan as Mi Biao
  • Li Baocheng as Fung Machete Chang
  • Yang Yongde as Monk Jing
  • Zhang Shaocheng as Nightman
  • Zhang JinTing as De Lu
  • Du ZhenXi as Uncle Jiao
  • Xu ChengLin and Lin Feng as armed escorts
  • Wang WenSheng as JiangHu Jia
  • Song Dong as JiangHu Yi
  • Zhang ShaoJun as an acrobat
  • Ma Ning as a woman acrobat
  • Zhu Jian Min as bartender
  • Dong ChangSheng as a beggar
  • Xu Yi as a countrywoman
  • Chen Bing as a servant

Themes and Interpretations

Title

The name "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is a literal translation of the Chinese idiom "臥虎藏龙" which describes a place or situation that is full of unnoticed masters. It is from a poem of the ancient Chinese poet Yu Xin's (513–581) that reads "暗石疑藏虎,盤根似臥龍", which means "behind the rock in the dark probably hides a tiger, and the coiling giant root resembles a crouching dragon." Besides, the title Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has several layers of meanings. On the most obvious level, the Chinese characters in the title connect to the narrative that the last character in Xiaohu and Jiaolong's names mean "Tiger" and "Dragon", respectively. On another level, the Chinese idiomatic phrase "卧虎藏龙 "Wo Hu Cang Long" (Crouching tiger hidden dragon) is an expression referring to the undercurrents of emotion, passion, and secret desires that lie beneath the surface of polite society and civil behavior, which alludes to the film's storyline.

Gender roles

The success of the Disney animated feature Mulan (1998) popularized the image of the Chinese woman warrior. The storyline of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is mostly driven by the three female characters. In particular, Jen Yu was driven by her desire to be free from the gender role imposed on her, while Yu Shu Lien, herself oppressed by the gender role, tried to lead Jen back into the role deemed appropriate for her. Some prominent martial arts traditionally were held to have been originated by women, e.g. Wing Chun. The film's title refers to masters one does not notice which necessarily includes mostly women, and therefore suggests the advantage of a female bodyguard.

Poison

Poison is also a significant theme in the film. The Chinese word "毒" (dú) means not only physical poison, but also cruelty and sinfulness. In the world of martial arts, poison is considered the act of one who is too cowardly and dishonorable to fight; and indeed, the only character who explicitly fits these characteristics is Jade Fox. The poison is a weapon of her bitterness, and quest for vengeance: she poisons the master of Wudang, attempts to poison Jen, and succeeds in killing Mu Bai using a poisoned needle. In further play on this theme by the director, Jade Fox, as she dies, refers to the poison from a young child, "the deceit of an eight-year-old girl", obviously referring to what she considers her own spiritual poisoning by her young apprentice Jen. Li Mu Bai himself warns that, without guidance, Jen could become a "poison dragon".

China of the imagination

The story setting is in the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), but it does not specify an exact time. Lee seeks to present "China of the imagination", not an accurate vision of Chinese history. At the same time, Lee also wants to make a film western audiences want to see. Thus, the film is shot for a balance between Eastern and Western aesthetics. There are some scenes showing uncommon artistry for the average martial arts film such as an airborne battle among wispy bamboo plants.


Production

The film was originally written as five-part novel series by Wang Dulu starting in the late 1930s. The story presented in the film is adapted and condensed from the storyline of the fourth book in the series, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Casting

Shu Qi was Ang Lee's first choice of for the role of Jen but turned it down.

Filming

Although its Academy Award was presented to China, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was in fact an international co-production between companies in four regions: the Chinese company China Film Co-Production Corporation; the American companies Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia, Sony Pictures Classics, and Good Machine; the Hong Kong company EDKO Film; and the Taiwanese Zoom Hunt International Productions Company, Ltd; as well as the unspecified United China Vision, and Asia Union Film and Entertainment Ltd., created solely for this film.

The film was made in Beijing, with location shooting in the Anhui, Hebei, Jiangsu, and Xinjiang provinces of China. The first phase of shooting was in the Gobi Desert where it consistently rained. Director Ang Lee noted, "I didn't take one break in eight months, not even for half a day. I was miserable -- I just didn't have the extra energy to be happy. Near the end, I could hardly breathe. I thought I was about to have a stroke." The stunt work was mostly performed by the actors themselves and Ang Lee stated in an interview that computers were used "only to remove the safety wires that held the actors." "Most of the time you can see their faces," he added, "That's really them in the trees."

Another compounding issue was the difference between accents of the four lead actors: Chow Yun-fat is from Hong Kong and speaks Cantonese natively; Michelle Yeoh is from Malaysia and grew up speaking English and Malay so she learned the Mandarin lines phonetically; Chang Chen is from Taiwan and he speaks Mandarin in a Taiwanese accent. Only Zhang Ziyi spoke with a native Mandarin accent that Ang Lee wanted. Chow Yun Fat said, on "the first day, I had to do 28 takes just because of the language. That's never happened before in my life."

The film specifically targeted Western audiences rather than the domestic audiences who were already used to Wuxia films, as a result high quality English subtitles were needed. Ang Lee, who was educated in the West, personally edited the subtitles to ensure they were satisfactory for Western audiences.

Soundtrack

The score was composed by Tan Dun, originally performed by Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai National Orchestra, and Shanghai Percussion Ensemble. It also features many solo passages for cello played by Yo-Yo Ma. The "last track" ("A Love Before Time") features Coco Lee, who later performed it at the Academy Awards. The music for the entire film was produced in two weeks.


Release

Marketing

The film was adapted into a video game, a comics series, and a 34-episode Taiwanese television series based on the original novel. The latter was released in 2004 as New Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for US and Canadian release.

Home media

The film was released on VHS and DVD on June 5, 2001 by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.


Reception

Box office

The film premiered in cinemas on December 8, 2000, in limited release within the US. During its opening weekend, the film opened in 15th place, grossing $663,205 in business, showing at 16 locations. On January 12, 2001, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon premiered in cinemas in wide release throughout the US grossing $8,647,295 in business, ranking in sixth place. The film Save the Last Dance came in first place during that weekend, grossing $23,444,930. The film's revenue dropped by almost 30% in its second week of release, earning $6,080,357. For that particular weekend, the film fell to eighth place screening in 837 theaters. Save the Last Dance remained unchanged in first place, grossing $15,366,047 in box-office revenue. During its final week in release, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon opened in a distant 50th place with $37,233 in revenue. The film went on to top out domestically at $128,078,872 in total ticket sales through a 31-week theatrical run. Internationally, the film took in an additional $85,446,864 in box-office business for a combined worldwide total of $213,525,736. For 2000 as a whole, the film cumulatively ranked at a worldwide box-office performance position of 19.

Critical response

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which is based on an early 20th century novel by Wang Dulu, unfolds much like a comic book, with the characters and their circumstances being painted using wide brush strokes. Subtlety is not part of Lee's palette; he is going for something grand and melodramatic, and that's what he gets.— James Berardinelli, ReelViews

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was very well received in the Western world, receiving numerous awards. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 157 reviews, with an average rating of 8.61/10. The site's critical consensus states: "The movie that catapulted Ang Lee into the ranks of upper echelon Hollywood filmmakers, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon features a deft mix of amazing martial arts battles, beautiful scenery, and tasteful drama." Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 94 out of 100, based on 32 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".

Some Chinese-speaking viewers were bothered by the accents of the leading actors. Neither Chow (a native Cantonese speaker) nor Yeoh (who was born and raised in Malaysia) spoke Mandarin as a mother tongue. All four main actors spoke with different accents: Chow speaks with a Cantonese accent; Yeoh with a Malaysian accent; Chang Chen a Taiwanese accent; and Zhang Ziyi a Beijing accent. Yeoh responded to this complaint in a December 28, 2000, interview with Cinescape. She argued, "My character lived outside of Beijing, and so I didn't have to do the Beijing accent." When the interviewer, Craig Reid, remarked, "My mother-in-law has this strange Sichuan-Mandarin accent that's hard for me to understand.", Yeoh responded: "Yes, provinces all have their very own strong accents. When we first started the movie, Cheng Pei Pei was going to have her accent, and Chang Zhen was going to have his accent, and this person would have that accent. And in the end nobody could understand what they were saying. Forget about us, even the crew from Beijing thought this was all weird."

The film led to a boost in popularity of Chinese wuxia films in the western world, where they were previously little known, and led to films such as House of Flying Daggers and Hero marketed towards Western audiences. The film also provided the breakthrough role for Zhang Ziyi's career, who noted:

Because of movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and Memoirs of a Geisha, a lot of people in the United States have become interested not only in me but in Chinese and Asian actors in general. Because of these movies, maybe there will be more opportunities for Asian actors.

Film Journal noted that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon "pulled off the rare trifecta of critical acclaim, boffo box-office and gestalt shift", in reference to its ground-breaking success for a subtitled film in the American market.

Counter-flow

Wu and Chan (2007) look at Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as somewhat of an example of "counter-flow", a film that has challenged Hollywood's grip on the film market. They argue that as a product of globalization, the movie did not demonstrate a one-way flow based on Western ideology, but was multidirectional with the ability of local resources to influence the West and gain capital. Despite its international success and perceived ability to change the flow from East to West, there were still instances of Western adaptation for the movie, such as putting more emphasis on female characters to better execute a balance between gender roles in the East and West. The script of the film was written between Taiwan and Hollywood and in translating the film to English, many cultural references were lost, which made maintaining the cultural authenticity of the film while still reaching out to the West very difficult. The thematic conflict throughout the movie between societal roles and personal desires attribute to the international reception of the film, which resonates with both the Eastern and Western audiences. Additionally, international networks were used in the production and promotion of the film, which were needed to achieve its global distribution. Additional marketing strategies were needed for the film to attract the Western audience, who were unfamiliar with the cultural products of the East.

Accolades

Gathering widespread critical acclaim at the Toronto and New York film festivals, the film also became a favorite when Academy Awards nominations were announced in 2001. The film was screened out of competition at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. The film received ten Academy Award nominations, which was the highest ever for a non-English language film, up until it was tied by Roma (2018).

The film is ranked at number 497 on Empire's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time. and at number 66 in the magazine's 100 Best Films of World Cinema, published in 2010. In 2010, the Independent Film & Television Alliance selected the film as one of the 30 Most Significant Independent Films of the last 30 years. In 2016, it was voted the 35th-best film of the 21st century as picked by 177 film critics from around the world. In 2019, The Guardian ranked the film 51st in its 100 best films of the 21st century list.

AwardCategoryNomineeResult
73rd Academy AwardsBest PictureHsu-Li Kong, Bill Kong and Ang LeeNominated
Best DirectorAng LeeNominated
Best Adapted ScreenplayKuo Jung Tsai, Hui-Ling Wang and James SchamusNominated
Best Foreign Language FilmTaiwanWon
Best Original SongJorge Calandrelli, Tan Dun and James Schamus for "A Love Before Time"Nominated
Best Costume DesignTimmy YipNominated
Best Art DirectionArt Direction and Set Decoration: Timmy YipWon
Best Film EditingTim SquyresNominated
Best Original ScoreTan DunWon
Best CinematographyPeter PauWon
2000 American Society of Cinematographers AwardsBest CinematographyPeter PauNominated
54th British Academy Film AwardsBest FilmNominated
Best Film Not in the English LanguageWon
Best Actress in a Leading RoleMichelle YeohNominated
Best Supporting ActressZhang ZiyiNominated
Best CinematographyPeter PauNominated
Best Makeup and HairNominated
Best EditingTim SquyresNominated
Best Costume DesignTim YipWon
Best DirectorAng LeeWon
Best MusicTan DunWon
Best Adapted ScreenplayKuo Jung Tsai, Wang Hui-Ling, James SchamusNominated
Best Production DesignTim YipNominated
Best SoundNominated
Best Visual EffectsNominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2000Best Foreign FilmWon
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 2000Most Promising ActressZhang ZiyiWon
Best Original ScoreTan DunWon
Best CinematographyPeter PauWon
Best Foreign FilmWon
2000 Directors Guild of America AwardsBest DirectorAng LeeWon
2000 Film Fest Gent festivalGeorges Delerue AwardTan DunWon
58th Golden Globe AwardsBest Foreign Language FilmWon
Best DirectorAng LeeWon
Best Original ScoreTan DunNominated
20th Hong Kong Film AwardsBest FilmWon
Best DirectorAng LeeWon
Best ScreenplayWang Hui-Ling, James Schamus, Kuo Jung TsaiNominated
Best ActorChow Yun-fatNominated
Best ActressZhang ZiyiNominated
Michelle YeohNominated
Best Supporting ActorChang ChenNominated
Best Supporting ActressCheng Pei-peiWon
Best CinematographyPeter PauWon
Best Film EditingTim SquyresNominated
Best Art DirectionTim YipNominated
Best Costume Make Up DesignTim YipNominated
Best Action ChoreographyYuen Wo PingWon
Best Original Film ScoreTan DunWon
Best Original Film SongTan Dun, Jorge Calandrelli, Yee Kar-Yeung, Coco LeeWon
Best Sound DesignEugene GeartyWon
Independent Spirit Awards 2000Best PictureWon
Best DirectorAng LeeWon
Best Supporting ActressZhang ZiyiWon
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 2000Best PictureWon
Best CinematographyPeter PauWon
Best Music ScoreTan DunWon
Best Production DesignTim YipWon
National Board of Review Awards 2000Best Foreign Language FilmWon
Top Foreign FilmsShortlisted
2000 New York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest CinematographyPeter PauWon
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards 2000Best PictureWon
Best DirectorAng LeeWon
Best ActressMichelle YeohWon
Best Supporting ActressZhang ZiyiWon
2000 Toronto International Film FestivalPeople's Choice AwardAng LeeWon
Writers Guild of America Awards 2000Best Adapted ScreenplayKuo Jung Tsai, Wang Hui-Ling, James SchamusNominated
37th Golden Horse Awards – 2000Best Feature FilmWon
Best DirectorAng LeeNominated
Best Leading ActressMichelle YeohNominated
Zhang ZiyiNominated
Best Screenplay AdaptionKuo Jung Tsai, Wang Hui-Ling, James SchamusNominated
Best CinematographyPeter PauNominated
Best Film EditingTim SquyresWon
Best Art DirectionTim YipNominated
Best Original ScoreTan DunWon
Best Sound DesignEugene GeartyWon
Best Action ChoreographyYuen Wo PingWon
Best Visual EffectsLeo Lo, Rob HodgsonWon

Sequel

A direct-to-television sequel to the film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, was released in 2016. It was directed by Yuen Woo-ping, who was the action choreographer for the first film. It is a co-production between Pegasus Media, China Film Group Corporation, and the Weinstein Company. Unlike the original film, the sequel was filmed in English for international release and dubbed to Mandarin for Chinese releases.

Sword of Destiny is based on the book Iron Knight, Silver Vase, the next (and last) novel in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy. It features a mostly new cast, headed by Donnie Yen. Michelle Yeoh reprised her role from the original. Zhang Ziyi was also approached to appear in Sword of Destiny but refused, stating that she would only appear in a sequel if Ang Lee were directing it.

In the United States, the sequel was for the most part not shown in theaters, instead being distributed via the video streaming service Netflix.


Cultural references

The theme of Janet Jackson's song "China Love" was related to the film by MTV News, in which Jackson sings of the daughter of an emperor in love with a warrior, unable to sustain relations when forced to marry into royalty.

The names of the pterosaur genus Kryptodrakon and the ceratopsian genus Yinlong (both meaning hidden dragon in Greek and Mandarin respectively) allude to the film.

The character of Lo, or "Dark Cloud" the desert bandit, influenced the development of the protagonist of the Prince of Persia series of video games.

Death Grips album, Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber).


Anecdote

In the contract reached between Columbia Pictures and Ang Lee and Hsu Li-kong, they agreed to invest US$6 million in filming, but the stipulated recovery amount must be more than six times before the two parties will start to pay dividends.