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John Woo's Titanic runs aground
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"Face/Off" director John Woo will not shoot the previously announced Titanic-like romantic epic "Pacific Steamer" (originally titled "1949"), according to various reports.

Taiwan-based film company Yashi Film, which is the copyright owner of the film's script, released an announcement Saturday via sina.com, alleging it could not reach an agreement with producer Terence Chang and his production team. Chang's lawyer has advised the company to cease negotiations, while a new director will be found to head the project, said the announcement.

Terence Chang, a long-time associate of John Woo, responded quickly on Sunday. He blamed Yashi Film for going back on what had been agreed and selling the copyright to a Taiwan TV station without the writer's approval.

"Director Woo is very fond of the story, for which he rejected several Hollywood projects. He has been reading the related historical materials for about half a year," Chang was quoted by the newspaper Wen Wei Po, as saying.

Chang said they also negotiated with many A-list actors, including Chang Chen and Song Hye-kyo, about their schedules. "Many reserved time for the film, and now we feel very sorry", Chang added.

(CRI April 1, 2009)

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