SHIP BREAKER Adaptation, Long-Awaited Indian Martial Arts Epic, THE 19TH STEP, Bring Phillip Lee On Board To Produce


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Revenant and Assassin's Creed producer Phillip Lee's latest embarkment with Indian cinema is a title now making its way back into headlines after about nearly decade of being in development. 2008 saw one of the earlier announcements of a film titled The 19th Step from director Bharat Bala, telling of a 9th century epic which focuses on the ancient martial arts style of Kalaripayattu in its origins long before Chinese Kung Fu was born.

Production evidently tapered off despite already having a cast lined up at the time which included award-winning actors Kamal Haasan and Japanese actor Asano Tadanobu which would have explored the film from a Samurai's perspective but the word now from Variety is that the movie is moving forward once again with Bala back on board, and none other than Lee producing via his new venture with Markus Barmettler, Facing East, as will Bala through his Bharat Bala Productions. The script is reportedly being reworked with a different approach and a new cast forthcoming.

Lee's venture also includes Ship Breaker, expected to be the first of a trilogy entirely from a script by Crash and Million Dollar Baby scribe Paul Haggis who direct and is writing the script. The first will adapt the 2010 YA novel of the same name from author Paolo Bacigalupi which takes place along America's Gulf Goast and tells of a young scavenger who is faced with the biggest choice of his life uncovers a hurricane-riddled clipper ship with a beautiful woman inside.

Aside from Terrence Malick’s 2018 drama Radegund and an upcoming Broadway version of Farewell My Concubine, Lee also has eyes other projects; He's on deck to produce an untitled Ronny Yu project to be filmed in Honolulu starting late 2017 with a story set at the turn of the century about a famous Chinese inspector. In addition, he will produce the director Rob Cohen's latest and long-awaited incoming adaptaion, Razor, inspired from the work of comic author Everett Hartsoe which also confirmed financing, as well as Peter Seagal's 2018 gravity-defying sci-fi, Inversion, which films in Berlin on February 27 with Samuel L. Jackson and Liu Yi Fei starring.

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