Yes, the ground beneath TV, movies and the Internet shifts daily, and for the latest evidence of seismic shift, this: Netflix will get the sequel to the classic film, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" from The Weinstein Co., which is already in production for the original Netflix series, "Marco Polo."
The deal for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend" was announced late Monday, and the film will simulcast -- wrong word, right idea -- at IMAX theaters on Aug. 28, 2015, when it premieres.
Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger" was and remains one of the glories of the big screen, and the sequel -- to be directed by Yuen Wo-Ping, the action director and stunt actor in many, many movies, including "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" -- obviously promises the same eye-popping visuals.
But this ground-shifting deal does seem to beg the question: Is it a movie, a TV movie, a streamable event, a single-episode series, or some other term yet to be invented?
Netflix, which continues to refer to itself as the "world's leading Internet TV network," is attempting to create a template that would further confuse (or confound) efforts to delineate a boundary between visual media. TV? Movies? Who cares! And it's starting from an exciting base -- "Crouching Tiger." (Can an Amazon Prime one-upmanship announcement be far behind?)
Here's the log-line, followed by the news release quotes:
"[Green Legend] echoes the themes of the original movie, but tells its own story -- one of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the martial world."
"Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy an amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredible beauty,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “We are honored to be working with Harvey Weinstein and a world-class team of creators to bring this epic story to people all over the world and to partner with IMAX, a brand that represents the highest quality of immersive entertainment, in the distribution of this film.
“The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement,” said TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. “We are tremendously excited to be continuing our great relationship with Netflix and bringing to fans all over the world the latest chapter in this amazing and intriguing story.”