The last we heard about John Woo's long-simmering The Battle of Red Cliff was back in February, at which point there were rumors that it actually might be moving forward. And now, a mere seven months later, the project finally has financing lined up, a cast in place, and a confirmed start date. Woo (if you will) hoo! For those of you who have forgotten, the movie is based on a classic Chinese novel, and tells the true story of "the final days of the Han Dynasty in the year 208, ... [covering] the war that established the Three Kingdoms period, when China had three rulers." The central battle of that war took place, as you might have guessed, at Red Cliffs, and involved as many as a million soldiers. Damn.

Surprisingly, the mutterings about the cast have turned out to be mostly true: This morning's Variety reports that the film will star frequent Woo collaborator (back in the Hong Kong days) Chow Yun-Fat, as well as Ken Watanabe, Tony Leung and Lin Chi-Ling, who apparently is a Taiwanese model. The IMDb also lists Andy Lau in the cast, but his presence is unconfirmed.

Production is expected to begin next March, with release planned for early 2008.