Ang Lee has pacted to make his second consecutive film, following his Academy Award win for directing Brokeback Mountain, with Focus Features. Lee will next direct Lust, Caution, an espionage thriller set in WWII-era Shanghai. Bill Kong, who previously produced Lee’s hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, will produce the new film with the director. Focus Features CEO James Schamus, who will executive-produce Lust, Caution, made the announcement today.
The Chinese-language feature is being scripted by Wang Hui-Ling, who previously co-wrote Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Lust, Caution is being adapted from a short story by the late Chinese author Eileen Chang. Focus will hold worldwide rights to the film, excluding Asia. Overseas sales and distribution will be handled by Focus Features International. Production is anticipated to begin in the fall.
As writer and producer, Schamus has collaborated with Lee on nine feature films. Brokeback Mountain, on which Schamus served as a producer, won, among other honors, 3 Academy Awards, 4 Golden Globe Awards, and 4 BAFTA Awards. The film is Focus’ all-time top-grosser, with global ticket sales of over $178 million.
Kong has produced several films that Focus and/or Focus Features International have released, including Jet Li’s Fearless, starring Jet Li and directed by Ronny Yu (which Focus’ sibling company Rogue Pictures releases domestically nationwide on August 4th); and Zhang Yimou’s Hero and House of Flying Daggers.
Schamus said, “I’m delighted that Ang is back with all of us here at Focus, and he’s going to be making a very exciting film that’s unlike anything he’s done before. He and I glad to reteam with Bill and Wang again after our great success together on Crouching Tiger. Like that picture, Lust, Caution is a uniquely Asian story which, in Ang’s hands, will surprise and attract audiences around the world.”