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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
Row over Crouching Tiger prequel
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The 2000 film adaptation of Crouching Tiger won four Oscars
The son of the late author of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is involved in a legal row over which US studio has film rights to his father's books.

Columbia Pictures claims it struck a deal with Hong Wang by phone and email in 2005 for rights to other books in the same series. Mr Wang denies this.

Instead, Mr Wang says he signed an agreement with The Weinstein Company for the book rights in December 2005.

Both studios are eager to make a prequel to the Oscar-winning 2000 film.

Columbia Pictures is currently suing both Mr Wang and The Weinstein Company in a court in Saskatchewan, Canada. In a counter action, The Weinstein Company is seeking sole ownership of the book rights.

"We don't like being embroiled in a legal fight, but whatever the outcome, it is basically good because two big Hollywood companies want to make a movie based on my father's writings," Mr Wang told Agence France Presse (AFP).

Prequel plans

Chinese author Wang Du Lu died in 1977, having written more than 50 books. His son moved to Saskatchewan in Canada in 1990.

In March this year, the Hollywood Reporter reported The Weinstein Company had bought Crane - Iron Pentalogy, a series of five martial arts novels by Wang Du Lu.

"They will in effects serve as prequels and sequels to Crouching Tiger," said Harvey Weinstein at the time.

Ang Lee's hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon made more than $228m (124.7m), but Mr Wang's family received only $30,000 (16, 416) in 1997 for rights to the book, according to court documents seen by AFP.

"Because we did not understand the motion picture business when we signed the 1997 agreement, we had left ourselves in a position where we were unprotected in many ways," Mr Wang said in papers filed with the court.

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