A brief mention of John Woo’s upcoming project Flying Tigers in a Variety story about New Regency’s future productions mentions that actor Tom Cruise is attached to star in the project written by Christopher McQuarrie, the co-writer of Cruise’s previous film Valkyrie), with Mason Alley.
An earlier story about the project mentioned the screenplay was being written for Cruise, but that the actor wasn’t attached, though that status may have changed in the past 11 months. Some might remember Cruise hired Woo to direct the 2000 sequel Mission: Impossible II, which grossed $550 million worldwide, so it would make sense that Woo and McQuarrie’s involvement might be enough to convince Cruise to headline the WWII drama.
ComingSoon.net spoke exclusively with Mr. Woo last week when he told us that Flying Tigers would indeed be his next project, and it would be shooting both in China and the United States. Here’s what he told us about it:
It’s based on a true story in WWII, about a group of American volunteer fighter pilots who worked with the Chinese Air Force fighting with the Japanese and they won the war. Also, it’s the story of Clair Chennault, and they did a great contribution for the Chinese, and the Chinese people love and respect them. The whole story is about a friendship between a Chinese and an American and they worked together.”
So we now know that Woo is directing the movie and that it will focus on Claire Lee Chennault, the commander of the “Flying Tigers” unit that helped end the war in China, and who just happened to be roughly the same age as Cruise during that period of time. We also know that Cruise has experience playing aviators as well as war heroes, so it wouldn’t be the biggest stretch to imagine him in the role.
Back in July, a UK site called Filmstalker ran a quote from a press conference Mr. Woo did in China, and they successfully put two-and-two together in regards to the possible reunion, but that story was mysteriously ignored by the rest of the world.
With the latest Variety report mentioning Cruise’s attachment–though failing to mention Woo–one could easily do the math that a reunion is highly probable, but at this point, it remains conjecture until the official press release confirming it.
You can read about some of New Regency’s other upcoming projects over at Variety.