On Thursday, a surprise report from Film Business Asia writer Kevin Ma has reported that Sil-Metropole Organisation Ltd.’s sequel to the 2005 film, S.P.L. (a.k.a. Sha Po Lang), has been approved by State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), otherwise known as the Chinese censorship board. International action star and world’s busiest bad guy beater-upper, Donnie Yen, who appeared in the 2005 action hit, has also been attached to star in the film by way of newly-attached Champions and Revenge: A Love Story scribe, Jill Leung Lai-Yin.
Yen’s casting is a surprise considering the events of the last film, with Yen starring alongside Simon Yam as two cops with differing set philosophies aiming to take down the city’s most ruthless gangster, played by Hong Kong action cinema legend Sammo Hung, and his incognito cop-killing assassin played by martial arts impresario and Tai Chi 2 star Jacky Wu Jing. The 2005 film centered on three stars of Chinese astrology, telling the story of these three main characters who would ultimately reach their boiling point throughout the dramatic events of the film, leading up to a climatic showdown between Yen and Hung in one of the hardest hitting action sequeneces in the history of heroic bloodshed and martial arts action cinema. The film would also kick-off its 2007 unrelated follow-up, Flash Point with Drug War co-star Louis Koo, The Matrix Revolutions co-star Collin Chou and The Wrath Of Vajra star Shi Yanneng, as per what is now known as Yen’s “Flash Point Fuse” trilogy leading up to the upcoming October release of Special ID, all centering around a lead character, a cop with mixed-martial arts training who would go above and beyond the call of duty to save his fellow man.
Prior to further collaborations between Yen, and director/co-writer Wilson Yip Wai-Shun that would follow, Sha Po Lang ultimately became a smash hit among martial arts cinema fans, reviving an era of Hong Kong action cinema thought once to be long lost after the new millemium, and would ultimately reset the standard of how Hong Kong action should be delivered. S.P.L. evidently gifted North American distributor Dragon Dynasty one of its earliest releases under the title, Kill Zone. The film was also written by director Wilson Yip, along with the now late Szeto Kam-Yuen who also wrote Flash Point. Szeto eventually completed the script for Yen’s latest 3D theatrical rendition of The Monkey King before passing away from cancer October 13, 2012.
The press release for the film’s finalization comes years after the first film was already in talks for a sequel to be directed by Dennis Law
who chose to move his script on to the production of 2006 gangster flick, Fatal Move
(a.k.a. Triad Wars) with actora Yam
. International action star Tony Jaa was also tapped for a role
as recently as September last year for a sequel that was also rumored to feature Hung
for filming this year.
Casting and crewing updates are still pending, but rest assured, much like The Fast And Furious series of films from 2001, Sha Po Lang 2 could possibly lead into a second trilogy of mixed martial arts action cop movies-if that’s the word. As for the plot my best guess is that it may surround a series of events related to Yen’s lightly mentioned backstory involving his character and that of actor Timmy Hung in the first film, and only because a prequel would make sense, unless they decide to go with a new story with new characters under the same astrological narrative.
Of course, that’s just me speaking, but I want to know what you think.
Sil-Metropole Organisation Ltd. also has another action film underway with writer Andy Lau Ho-Leung, who also wrote Last Of The Best, which is currently still filming with Yen starring with actor Wang Baoqiang and actress Charlie Yeung, under Bodyguards And Assassains director Teddy Chen. Yen is also tapped to work on several more films between now and next year, including Kowloon Walled City and next Spring’s filming of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Destiny
Stay tuned for more info.
QUESTION 1: How do you think S.P.L. 2 will be approached with Donnie Yen back on the project?
QUESTION 2: Who should play the villain?
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