Donnie Yen took a flight to New York very recently because he was invited to attend the yearly New York Asian Film Festival as a special guest for special showings of the 1993 kung fu action classic Iron Monkey as well as his recent hits SPL (aka Kill Zone), The Lost Bladesman and Wu Xia (aka Dragon). Since last Sunday Donnie has been present at the festival talking about his life, career, The Lost Bladesman and SPL, as well as answering questions from fans. He’s currently continuing to be present over there for interviews and Q&As with special showings of Iron Monkey and Wu Xia.
Check out footage of his interviews and Q&As for The Lost Bladesman and SPL below.
Vincent Zhao – who is currently busy promoting his new martial arts actioner Wu Dang co-starring Yang Mi, Fan-Siu-Wong (Ip Man), Dennis To (Ip Man 2, Legend Is Born – Ip Man) and Xu Jiao (CJ7) – was recently present at a press conference for the film and went as far as saying that he hasn’t given up on collaborating with Donnie Yen but will let fate decide if that opportunity rises again.
Quite strange don’t y’all think? Especially coming from someone who took it out to the media to take jabs at someone else with unproven facts and people riding along, and reclaiming his professionalism. Oh well, let’s see how fate does this one…
Here are some interesting bits taken from The Funds Book from the Cannes Film Market. It outlines all the major government-provided film funds, budgets, and basic criteria. I compared Hong Kong and South Korea, not based on market share (since that would be an unfair comparison), but based on their criteria.
Check out Hong Kong first:
Hong Kong – Film Development Fund
Objectives of the Funding Programme: The FDF aims to fund projects and activities which contribute towards the development of the Hong Kong film industry.
Maximum amount: 515,000 euro
Main selection criteria: Must be beneficial to the overall development of the Hong Kong film industry. Must serve the interests of the entire film industry, and not only an individual private company or a consortium of private companies and should mainly be non-profit making in nature [emphasis mine].
Anyone expecting to see the old school Hong Kong action mentality, think again.
Here’s South Korea:
South Korea – Seoul Film Commission
Objectives of the Funding Programme: To support the local film industry as well as to promote the city for international coproductions and location for the shooting of foreign films
Eligible genres: Live action, Feature Films, TV Drama, Documentary, and anything with minimum total running time 60 min.
If you’re doing a genre co-production in Asia, consider South Korea.
Mtime has released new BTS stills of the film. There’s no release date yet but it’s estimated to be out during late fall or early winter this year.
Things looks to have been neutralized as both Donnie Yen and Vincent Zhao are very busy doing promotion and shooting their respective projects – Donnie currently shooting a romance film titled Together starring Bosco Lam and Michelle Chan and Vincent promoting the upcoming kung fu drama Wu Dang. Last that happened was that Mainland director Tan Bing came out on April 6 and spoke out about Donnie’s unfaithful work ethics and arrogant behavior which further caused heat between the Yen and Zhao camps. Neither Donnie nor the production team have responded to Bing’s actions.
Despite this, there have been lots of news reports and press conferences concerning the scandal that I’ve missed out due to limited resources (such as lack of people transcribing and translating information in Chinese, and getting translations that are too sloppy to understand). One of these news reports is one covering events during the filming process through the eyes and experiences of Mainland actor Hung Bao – who was in the original cast of Special Identity playing Vincent Zhao’s main henchman (check out my earlier post here: http://ericjacobus.com/2012/04/19/special-identity-more-trouble-stills-of-vincent-zhaos-intended-role/).
However, it’s not the case of another actor pointing all fingers on Donnie to blame for the problems that arose during shooting. Hung Bao clarifies rumors on Vincent acting arrogant and being accompanied by an entourage, how things were when Vincent was around the set and how it was working with him, working relations with him and Donnie, dispute between two drivers on the set (which led to the murder of one of them), and reveals that there was someone that was a big influence on and eventually was the reason for the script changes (although it was not mentioned) and that this fact came from a person (a friend of Hung Bao and also someone not mentioned) who was involved in the film crew.
Not too long ago, a trailer for the upcoming car chasing film Motorway was released. It created quite a buzz in the action film community for its’ incredible car chases and vehicle stunts. Now, another new trailer have been released showing new intense footage of what we can expect!
Motorway is produced by Johnnie To; directed by Soi Cheang and stars Shawn Yue; Anthony Wong; Guo Xiao-Dong; Michelle Ye; Gordon Lam; and Barbie Hsu. The story will center around a rookie cop (Shawn Yue) who gets mentored by a car chasing coach (Anthony Wong) to stop crime activities on the roads of Hong Kong without attracting attention. But soon, the rookie cop takes up his biggest challenge when a veteran criminal (Guo Xiao-Dong) shows up making on the roads causing trouble and escaping from the cops.
While the trailers are creating buzz at the moment, comparisons to other car chasing film have been made in terms of film atmosphere and look – especially Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive. But something to have in mind is that, despite the comparisons, the two films have nothing in common as Drive is based on a book whereas Motorway has a completely different script. Plus the concept for Motorway was conceived several months before going into production at the end of 2009 – and have taken three years to complete altogether (due to production halts and Cheang committing his time directing Donnie Yen in the forthcoming The Monkey King) – while Drive started production almost a year after and was wrapped shooting earlier. Anyways, check the trailer out.
What seems to be words from news reports actually turns out to be a total misunderstanding. This is what Jackie had to say on his Facebook page when he heard about the news:
Hello all my friends and fans,
Yesterday in my press conference in Cannes for Chinese 12 Zodiac I said that this movie was my last big action movie.
Today I was shocked when I woke up to read all the news coverage that I was retiring from doing Action movies.
I just want to let everyone know that I am not retiring from doing action movies. What I meant to say is that I need to do less of the life risking stunts on my movies. After all these years of doing so many stunts and breaking so many bones, I need to take better care of my body so I can keep working.
I will continue to do international action movies.
And I will keep improving my English 🙂
I love all of you!
A remake of John Woo’s The Killer has been in talks for as long as 21 years. But news hit yesterday that it has been green-lit. Earlier reports (http://www.filmbiz.asia/news/killer-gets-green-light-for-3-d-remake) indicated the remake was going to be shot in 3D as well as have Korean director Jung Woo-sung helming the film and Chow Yun-Fat reprising his role as Ah Jong/Jef.
But it looks like things are re-arranged. The 3D aspect might now be out of the question and both Jung Woo-Sung and Chow Yun-Fat are no longer involved with the project. Instead, the film will be helmed by John H. Lee (A Moment to Remember) and the cast so far will include Sarah Yan Li playing the role of Jenny – originally played by Hong Kong singer Sally Yeh – while casting for the roles of Ah Jong and Li Ying is still ongoing.
The story will be set in Los Angeles, with shooting starting in Toronto later this year. Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars Film Studios will provide the financing. John Woo and Terence Chang will produce the film, and Josh Campbell will handle writing duties.
Synopsis: Set in present day Los Angeles, Jef, a highly skilled contract killer falls in love with the only living witness to his latest job, a female singer (Sarah Yan Li) who was blinded during the hit. Meanwhile, Detective Vaughn, the cop assigned to investigate Jef’s hit, has a chance to save his reputation when he correctly, and fatefully, suspects Jef to be the killer, but after witnessing Jef display an act of heroism, Vaughn’s perceptions of right and wrong begin to change.
Here’s a new trailer to Jackie Chan’s final action film, which was produced in preparation for the Cannes Film Festival.