We recently caught up with The Paper Tigers director Bao Tran a few years since he began pounding the pavement with indie kung fu short, The Challenger. As a project eagerly awaiting to get its feet off the ground, we were happy to offset that interview as a pre-launch now as Tran and his company are looking toward their second crowdfunder to help further solidify Tran’s feature debut via Kickstarter.
Alas, to help inspire hopeful donors, Tran and his team at Beimo Films are officially launching a pre-liminary trailer packed with exciting new footage to suffice. That footage – portioned from the ten-minute pitch Tran presented to buyers at the Frontiéres Platform at the Marché du Film at Cannes earlier this year – also has newly-released behind-the-scenes footage from the aforementioned photography which highlights the earlier years of our cast of characters per the film’s plot.
A dead-beat dad, a fat insurance scammer and an MMA coach find themselves in the middle of a gang war when they must avenge their kung fu master’s death but first… they need to call in sick at their 9-to-5’s.
The official sneak preview Kickstarter trailer above highlights the film’s partial cast, listing Roger Yuan (Shanghai Noon, upcoming John Wick 3 and Mulan), Yoshi Sudarso (Power Rangers: Dino Charge, upcoming Buffalo Boys), Peter Sudarso (Power Rangers: Ninja Steel/Hyper Force), Gui Da Silva-Greene (Captain America: Civil War, Pacific Rim: Rising), and Kieran Tamondong (upcoming Cinemax series Warrior). Also joining in are Bryan Kinder, Malakai James and Mark Poletti.
Tran, an acolyte of Hong Kong action legend Corey Yuen Kwai and hailed by the likes of AICN and Screen Anarchy, is best known of late for editing credits on Charlie Nguyen’s 2013 action thirller, Cho Lon, and Jackpot, a heartfelt comedy selected as Vietnam’s official entry to the 2016 Oscars for Best Foreign Film. The writer and director also helmed one of his most celebrated shortfilm successes to date, Bookie (2008), which Twitchfilm (now Screen Anarchy) praised for its “flawlessly realized world driven by a compelling narrative and brought to sumptuous life.”
Writer, producer and veteran actor Yuji Okumoto (The Karate Kid: Part II, Johnny Tsunami, Johnny Kapahala, Out, Black Thread, Katana, Beta Test, Awesome Asian Bad Guys) is producing the film. Michael Velasquez, Al’n Duong and Dan Gildark are also serving as producers with Bookie and The Challenger actor Ken Quitugua serving as action director and fight choreographer, and Kerry Wong as stunt coordinator. Shaun Mayor will lens the pic as cinematographer with Yumi Takada, C.S.A. pushing the needle forward as casting director.
The Paper Tigers seeks to jump start production in Seattle early 2019. XYZ Films will handle North American sales and AMP Films will handle global sales.