Split into two parts, just like 2008 epic 'Red Cliff', John Woo's 'The Crossing' examines the enduring power of love aboard an ill-fated ship.
"This is an epic love story spanning 50 years of modern Chinese history," Woo explains in an English-language trailer with Chinese subtitles. "[Three couples] survive war and disaster, they finally find happiness."
Anchoring 'The Crossing' in history is the 1949 sinking of the steamer Taiping, a boat which collided with another vessel en route from Shanghai to the Taiwanese port of Keelung.
"But this is not a happy or sad story. It is a romantic story of hope, and has a lot of action, drama and humor," Woo explained.
For the film does not only deal with a single event, but also traces the paths of its principal characters up to the moment they find themselves aboard the Taiping.
Its cast list includes high-profile actors and actresses from China, Japan and Taiwan, such as Zhang Ziyi ('House of Flying Daggers', '2046', 'The Grandmaster'), Takeshi Kaneshiro ('Red Cliff', 'House of Flying Daggers'), Song Hye-kyo ('The Grandmaster') and Huang Xiaoming ('The Message', 'Sacrifice').
Such events invite easy comparisons to James Cameron's 1997 romance 'Titanic', which at 194 minutes was also noted for its considerable length.
'The Crossing' goes one further, its story spanning two feature films, the first of which will be released in 3D opens in Singapore in the first week of December this year, with its opposing part arriving early in 2015.