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TORONTO — John Woo’s epic drama “The Crossing” will hit be distributed in two parts with the first hitting Chinese theaters on Dec. 2, producer Beijing Galloping Horse has confirmed.

The second part will be released at an undetermined date in early 2015.

Scripted by Wang Huiling (“Lust, Caution”), the 1949-set picture includes overlapping stories of several couples who find themselves on the ocean liner “Taiping,” which sinks during the crossing between mainland China and Taipei. Its features an ensemble cast including Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tong Dawei.

Woo confirmed that the production was initially delayed, in 2012, by his fight with throat cancer. “While I was receiving treatment in the States, I saw a bad film and I thought to myself, I could not just die like that. I can’t just go away without making a film which I think is perfect,” John Woo said.

Woo likens the story to a historical romance like “Gone With the Wind,” but with stronger visuals that will lift it into a different genre.

“The Crossing” is presented by Beijing Galloping Horse, LeVision Pictures, China Film Group and Huayi Bros.

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