Early 1700: Cartographer Jonathan Green from Forbidden Kingdom (2014) is back to map the Russian Far East. He’s forced on to China, where he confronts the Dragon Master et al. The iron masked Russian Czar escapes the Tower of London to a Russian ship.

The Iron Mask (Viy 2: Journey to China) is a 2020 Russo-Chinese fantasy adventure film. It is the sequel to Viy, the 2014 cinema hit loosely based on the Nikolai Gogol story Viy. Produced by Gleb Fetisov, Alexey A. Petrukhin and Sergey Sozanovskiy, the film is directed by Oleg Stepchenko from a screenplay by Stepchenko, Petrukhin and Dmitri Palees. The film stars Jason Flemyng (who reprises his role from the first film), Charles Dance (who reprises his role from the first film), Rutger Hauer (in one of his final films before his death), Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Helen Yao.

The Russian Czar Peter the Great commissions Jonathan Green, an English traveller, to map the Far East territories of the Russian Empire. Green sets off on yet another long journey, full of unbelievable adventures, which eventually leads him to China. On his way, the famous cartographer makes breath-taking discoveries, meets mysterious creatures, Chinese princesses, deadly masters of oriental martial arts, and even Lun Van, the King of Dragons, himself. What could be more perilous than looking into the eyes of Viy? Only meeting him again… What will prevail this time — the unflinching scepticism of the scientist or ancient black magic, which has already gained influence over the Far East Lands?

Cast from The Iron Mask (2020)

Jason Flemyng as Jonathan Green
Charles Dance as Lord Dudley
Rutger Hauer as Ambassador
Jackie Chan as Master
Arnold Schwarzenegger as James Hook
Helen Yao as Cheng Lan
Martin Klebba as Captain
Christopher Fairbank as Grey

Production Notes

Runtime: 124 min

Budget: $49,000,000

The film was released in the United States and United Kingdom under the title The Iron Mask on April 10, 2020.

On 5 April 2015, a press conference was held in Moscow with producers Alexey Petrukhin and Sergei Selyanov, actors Jason Flemyng, Rutger Hauer, and Anna Yo. During the conference, it was confirmed that the filming of the sequel, titled Viy 2: Journey to China, has been started. It was also revealed that members of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team would be helping out in choreographing the fights for the film.

Major film stars were planned to appear in the sequel. Initial reports had Jackie Chan, Jason Statham, and Steven Seagal as appearing in the film. In November 2016, it was confirmed that Chan would co-star alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The film was shot in real 3D with two ARRI Alexa M mounted on STEREOTEC[5] MID Size Rig, with two ARRI Alexa Mini mounted on STEREOTEC Light Weight Rig and with CODEX Action Cam 3D mounted on STEREOTEC Nano Rig.

Interesting Movie Facts

Despite the fact that Forbidden Kingdom (2014) went direct-to-DVD in most countries, the movie was the highest grossing movie in Russia of 2014, paving the way for this sequel and the casting of international stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, and Rutger Hauer.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan appeared in Around the World in 80 Days (2004).

The only movie in which Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rutger Hauer appeared together since they were considered to play RoboCop.

There is a Game of Thrones (2011) connection with this movie: Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) appeared with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Last Action Hero (1993) as Benedict. Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared with Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) in Terminator Genisys (2015), which she succeeded Linda Hamilton in the iconic role of Sarah Connor. Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) played Sarah Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008). Jason Flemyng was Lena Headey’s boyfriend from 1994 to 2003. (Talk about six degrees of separation.)

When James Hook (Schwarzenegger) and the Master (Chan) are fighting, Hook shouts that a sword hanging on the wall belonged to the Turkish sultan. This may be a reference to the Turkish Prince Hapi from ‘Around the World In 80 Days’ (2004), played by Schwarzenegger.

How significant is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role?

It’s not a cameo appearance, he has quite a bit of screen time, including fight scenes with Jackie Chan.

Movie Review:

This movie’s script might somewhat look like an old way of the past. However this movie is truly mesmerizing. There are plenty of unpredictable events in this movie which makes it great. Perfectly performed by Jacky Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but also the other cast members. I’m just so sorry it has received such a low score and I believe this is due to the fact that it wasn’t directed in USA. That alone can’t determine whether a movie is good or not. I saw it and it has plenty of action scenes and stories mixing up together to make it a great movie like this one. It is really a must. I watched at home. Wish I had watched it at the cinema though. Much more fun.

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