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JOHN WOO (Director/Producer) most recently directed Mission Impossible 2 starring Tom Cruise, a phenomenal success both domestically and internationally. The film opened to some of the highest grossing weekend figures in history.

Woo began his illustrious career as a filmmaker in Hong Kong where he spent over two decades at the center of a thriving film industry, directing nearly 30 feature films. He was known primarily as a comedy specialist until the mid-1980s when he created a series of inspired romantic gangster dramas that broke box-office records.

Born in Guangzhou, China, in 1946, Woo moved to Hong Kong with his family when he was four years old. He was educated at Matteo Ricci College and, at age 19, began making experimental films. In lieu of film school, Woo sought entry-level positions in the flourishing Hong Kong film industry.

In 1971 he began working as an assistant director at Shaw Brothers. Just two years later he made his directorial debut with The Young Dragons. He was then signed to an exclusive contract at Golden Harvest. Two more successful martial arts films followed: The Dragon Tamers and The Hand of Death, the latter featuring action superstar Jackie Chan in his first major screen role.

Woo found equal success with a Cantonese opera film, Princess Chang Ping, but first became a major force in Asian filmmaking with a string of eight hit comedies, including Money Crazy and From Riches to Rags.

Woo left Golden Harvest in 1983 and joined a new company, Cinema City, where he directed the romantic gangster film A Better Tomorrow, starring Chow Yun-Fat. Woo's lush crime thrillers with Chow - which also include the brilliantly choreographed, character-driven action film The Killer and Woo's last Hong Kong-produced film, Hard Boiled - won enthusiastic fans among audiences and filmmakers around the world. Woo also directed the Vietnam War-set Bullet in the Head, the comedy action caper Once a Thief, and A Better Tomorrow II.

Woo made his U.S. feature film debut with Hard Target starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. In 1994 he formed WCG Entertainment with his producing partner, Terence Chang. Under this banner, Woo directed Broken Arrow starring John Travolta and Christian Slater and Face/Off starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. The latter was an enormous box-office hit for the Hong Kong director and was praised by critics worldwide.

Woo kept busy between his feature films directing pilots for television, including Once a Thief, an adaptation of his feature film, and Blackjack starring Dolph Lundgren. In 1998 Woo directed his first commercial, a Nike spot featuring seven Brazilian soccer stars which won a silver lion at Cannes. Windtalkers is being produced by Lion Rock Productions, Woo's new company with longtime partner Terence Chang.

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