Lee spoke to Variety ahead of an In-Conversation event at the ongoing Singapore International Film Festival on Friday. “We are finalizing the rest of the cast,” Lee said. The film pairs a street-wise American con man Chinese physicist as they race against the clock to save the earth from a loss of gravity.
Lee is a producer who straddles China and Hollywood, whose credits include “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Cloud Atlas,” “The Revenant,” and “Assassin’s Creed.”
Principal photography will commence in late 2018 on “Ship Breaker,” the first in a trilogy written and directed by Paul Haggis, based on U.S. author Paolo Bacigalupi’s young adult novels. “We have a very good draft from Paul Haggis,” Lee said.
On Lee’s untitled Honolulu-set Ronny Yu project about a Chinese policeman, scripting is underway. “You know that the script is not easy to get it right. We have a few writers already. We are still trying to work on the script,” Lee said.
The quest is on for a writer on Indian filmmaker Bharat Bala’s long gestating project “The 19th Step.” “We are looking for a writer at this stage,” said Lee. “I am always ready, I am always wanting to do this movie.” The film will be based on the ancient Indian martial art Kalaripayattu that later evolved into Oriental martial arts like Kung Fu.
“One thing I am excited about right now is this movie called “The Captain”, directed by Robert Schwentke,” says Lee. The World War II drama bowed at Toronto and won best cinematography for Florian Ballhaus at San Sebastian.
At the festival event, Lee spoke to a rapt audience about his work process with directors. “I don’t want to work with yes men,” Lee said. “I want to work with directors who argue with me in the best way.”