Martin Scorsese joins production team for upcoming Andrew Lau crime thriller

Mark Deming
Movie Talk

Iconic American filmmaker Martin Scorsese will be lending a hand to a respected Hong King-based director who indirectly helped Scorsese achieve one of his greatest goals a few years back.

Scorsese has signed on as Executive Producer on the upcoming crime thriller “Revenge Of The Green Dragons,” to be directed by Andrew Lau.

Scorsese is a longtime admirer of Lau’s work, and his remake of Lau’s 2002 film “Internal Affairs,” “The Departed,” finally earned Scorsese an Academy Award for Best Director in 2007. While Lau has been attached to “Green Dragons” since 2009, with Scorsese involved in the production, the picture has obtained financing from production company Octane, and is scheduled to begin shooting in April.

“Revenge Of The Green Dragons” was scripted by Michael Di Jiacomo, who based his screenplay on a New Yorker article by journalist Fredric Dannen. The story, adapted from a true story, concerns two immigrants who rise to power in a New York street gang with ties to organized crime. Dannen, who is an authority on Asian genre filmmaking and wrote the book “Hong Kong Babylon: An Insider's Guide to the Hollywood of the East,” has given his endorsement to Lau after rejecting other offers to adapt his story for the screen.

“When ‘Revenge of the Green Dragons’ was first published, I turned down a number of movie adaptation offers because I didn't want to see the article debased into a “Year of the Dragon”-style gangster movie,” Dannen said.

“Revenge Of The Green Dragons” isn’t Lau’s first effort to break into the American market, but his previous English language film, “The Flock” starring Richard Gere, never received a theatrical release.

With the endorsement of Martin Scorsese, “Revenge Of The Green Dragons” should have better luck. Not that Lau will have a lot of time to wonder about it just now; he recently released a new film, “The Guillotines,” and in March he’ll be presenting some of his work as a director-in-focus at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.