Woo’s Red Cliff Breaks Into Two

John Woo’s upcoming epic “The Battle of Red Cliff” will now be split into two versions – two two-hour films for Asian audiences, and a single two-and-a-half hour film outside the continent.

The most expensive Asian movie ever made, the original $50 million budget has already swelled to $75 million before shooting has begun reports Variety.

Why the split? Producer Terence Chang says “Asian audiences know all the ten main personalities and all the battles. The split gives us room for the set pieces and the character development.”

Wang Hui-ling (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) penned the script. Chow Yun-fat, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Lin Chiling, Hu Jun and Zhang Fengyi all star.

Production now is set back by two weeks with filming running from March 28th through til late September in Beijing. Both Asian films will debut in 2008 (the first just before the Olympics), the international version’s release date is unknown.