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News and Notes: May 14th, 2009

Time to clear out some of the items that I’ve been keeping in my little notebook:


I CORRUPT ALL COPS made HK$2.14 million last week to boost its total to HK$4.60 million from 11 days in theatres. The Mainland epic CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH (aka NANKING! NANKING!) opened with a take of HK$1.24 million over the weekend while TRAIL OF THE PANDA made HK$725,123.


IP MAN director Wilson Yip Wai-Shun gave an interview to the Beijing Times earlier this week in which he revealed details about IP MAN 2.  Yip denied rumours that Andy Lau Tak-Wah will be joining the cast as Ip Man’s rival.  Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, rather, will do double duty as action director and the main opponent.  While Yip expects the cast from IP MAN to reprise their roles in the sequel, they will not be continuing the Japanese resistance storyline.  Instead, the sequel will be set in the 1950s and focus on Ip Man’s struggle to open a kung fu school in Hong Kong.  According to Yip, the sequel’s storyline will be driven by the conflict Ip Man generates when he upsets the balance of power in the Hong Kong kung fu school jiang wu by opening his own school.

Asked if a Bruce Lee character would appear in IP MAN 2, Yip replied: “Only briefly.  The movie is set in the 1950s and Bruce Lee is still only a child so he won’t have a big part in the film.  Besides this movie is called IP MAN 2 not BRUCE LEE.”

Yip is currently scouting locations around Shanghai for the sequel.  Shooting is slated to being in August.

IP MAN recently took home the Best Film prize at the Hong Kong Film Awards.  Commenting on the victory, Yip said: “Before the Best Film award was presented, our film only had Big Brother Sammo Hung win for Best Action Design.  No one else from the IP MAN team won an award.  It was impossible for me to imagine that an outstanding film like IP MAN would win just one award.  Although I really liked THE WAY WE ARE, if we didn’t win Best Film that night, I would have stormed out of the room right away.”


The latest issue of Sudden Weekly (Issue #719) includes an article on rising star Tang Wei.  According to the article, Tang met with Harvey Weinstein, boss of The Weinstein Group, and Vice President of Asian Acquisitions & Co-Productions Bey Logan on April 12th at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Central.  While there are rumours that Tang, who reportedly speaks fluent English, is already considering five or six Hollywood projects, Bey Logan told the magazine: “That day, it was just a simple, preliminary meeting where we got to know one another.  We just wanted to learn a little bit more about her.  She is a very special talent who can work in Cantonese, Mandarin or English.  If we have a suitable role, we would definitely consider her for it.”



In recent weeks, there has been a lot of smoke but no fire yet surrounding a comeback by Brigitte Lin (Lam Ching-Ha).  Rumours have connected the retired actress to Tsui Hark’s DETECTIVE DEE and future projects with Jackie Chan and Sylvia Chang.  Two weeks ago, Ip Chun, the son of Ip Man, linked Lin to Wong Kar-Wai’s THE GRAND MASTER — Wong’s long-planned bio-pic of the legendary Wing Chun master.

Appearing on a Hunan Satellite TV talk show on April 28th, Ip claimed that Lin has agreed to play the headmistress of a kung fu school in Wong’s film.  Asked by reporters to confirm Ip’s claim, a spokesperson for Wong Kar-Wai’s Jet Tone Studios refused to comment.

In the interview, Ip went on to say that he has been helping Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, who has been cast by Wong to play Ip Man, prepare by teaching him Wing Chun.  Ip: “When he first started learning it, he didn’t feel much affinity for Wing Chun but now that he’s been working on it, I think he’s become more and more interested.  When he’s at home, he’ll ask Carina Lau (Leung’s wife) to practice ’sticky hands’ with him.  He’ll also ask me to test his skills once in a while.”

On the set of DETECTIVE DEE, Tsui Hark was asked to comment about the rumour.  Reporters wondered if Tsui felt snubbed by Lin.  Tsui: “I’ve been busy working on my new film so I haven’t heard anything about that.  Ching-Ha is my friend of many years, as long as she thinks it is the right decision, I’ll support her.”


With an amazing pedigree that includes Derek Yee Tung-Sing and Henry Fong Ping as its producers and Alan Mak Siu-Fai and Felix Chong Man-Keung as its co-directors, OVERHEARD (竊聽風雲) is one of the most anticipated films of the summer.  Starring Lau Ching-Wan, Louis Koo Tin-Lok and Daniel Wu, the movie tells the story of a HK Police surveillance squad investigating a case in the world of corporate finance.

As he plays Lau Ching-Wan’s mentor in the film, Louis Koo had to gain 30 pounds to make himself look older than Lau.  Asked if he was pulling a “DeNiro” and making a bid for a Hong Kong Film Award next year, Koo replied: “Robert DeNiro gained 60 pounds for RAGING BULL so comparing me to him is like comparing a little fish to a big fish.  Gaining a little weight is nothing.  I’m just doing my part for the role.”

Principal photography of the film has been completed.  It is currently in post-production.


Along with Big S Barbie Hsu, Louis Koo was on location in Beijing a couple of weeks ago shooting palace scenes for the new Wong Jing comedy FORBIDDEN CITY COP: SMART DOG.   In the film, Koo plays a royal cop who falls in love with a lady hero played by Big S.  Koo’s character doesn’t know kung fu so he has to rely on his brains to get out of sticky situations.  Speaking to the media during a break in shooting, director Wong praised the talents of his lead actress by remarking: “Big S is a very versatile actress.  She can do everything.  The way she played a mother (in CONNECTED) shows the depth of her skills.  This is a time of great opportunity for her.  With Shu Qi being selective about what she’s doing, she’s throwing away one or two good scripts each year that Big S can pick up and do.”

Yesterday, work continued on the film at the Hengdian Studios in Zhejiang.  Wrapped in an elaborate costume for more than 12 hours a day, one would think that the biggest complaint supporting actress Sandra Ng Kwan-Yu has is the 30°C+ temperature on the lot.  It was not.  Ng: “It’s been seven days since I’ve seen my daughter.   Luckily, we’re going to be finished here in a couple of days.”

Louis Fan Siu-Wong, Tong Dawei (Vicki Zhao’s playmate in RED CLIFF 2), Lee Kin-Yan (the cross-dressing nosepicker from various Stephen Chow movies) and Liu Yiwei (a Mainland television personality) also star in the film.  Newlywed Law Kar-Ying plays a character based on Marco Polo.

FORBIDDEN CITY COP: SMART DOG is scheduled to hit Hong Kong theatres on August 4th.  If the movie is successful, Wong hopes to make sequels with Louis Koo as the star.


One Response to “News and Notes: May 14th, 2009”

  1. Bunta Sugawara Says:

    Any idea when Vengeance is released in HK? (I’m doing some mental arithmetic to work out when I’m likely to get my grubby paws on a DVD release of it - it sounds great). Thanks Copyright © 2002-2021 Ross Chen