Hong Kong director Fung Chih-Chiang has done more than his fair share behind the scenes having served as screenwriter for the likes of Stephen Chow and Johnnie To; After hits like Shaolin Soccer, The Mermaid and 2 Become 1, Fung paved the way directing nominated Hong Kong faves like The Bounty and Concerto Of The Bully, and Charlene Choi’s Golden Lotus nod, The Midas Touch.
The rest of the film is wonderfully done Chinese sword fantasy justice. The true hero of our story doesn’t come in after we learn and understand what Swordman Yen is about, showing how both these great swordsmen ultimately share the same paths whether they are heroes or villians. Kenny Lin, who plays as Ah Chi/Third Master wanders Bitter Sea City as a drunkard coolie employed by Dawn Moon Brothel, to escape his life as swordsman. Day in and day out, he’s been challenged by warriors from all over to make a mark for themselves, and tires from the world of warriors. His exodus from the martial world acts as a catalyst that drives the rest of the martial world to act upon the vacant spot for power which ultimately ends up coming back to him and Swordsman Yen.
The latest trailer arrived to further sample what lies ahead following teasers released earlier on and apart from the usually gamey blue screen effects, a lot of the other visuals look pretty outstanding and slick. As for whether or not you choose to see it in 3D will be entirely up to you.
At some point between now and April, former actor-turned-director Derek Yee began production for his latest return to familiar territory with the period wuxia epic, Sword Master. Arriving in 2015, the film is based on late Hong Kong author Gu Long whose work inspired Yee’s then-lead starpower in the original Shaw Brothers production, Death Duel (1977), which centers around a swordsman whose past catches up to him after he fakes his own death to escape the underworld.
Written by Yee along with fellow producer Tsui Hark and co-scribe Chun Tin-Nam, Sword Master stars actor Kenny Lin in the lead opposite actor Peter Ho who plays his nemesis. Actresses Jiang Yiyan and Jiang Mengjie rounding out the cast so far listed. Yee is producing the film under his Film Unlimited banner along Bona Film Group for the film’s 3D production at Hengdian Studios for which Filmsmash has just provided a fresh batch of new set pics. Check those out below and watch out for more news ahead.
Following up on the previous report regarding the latest concept image for director Derek Yee‘s new film, The Sword Master, Yee recently took to social media to set the record straight regarding some reported backlash over the casting of his new film. The film was finally announced last year with film auteur Tsui Hark attached as producer for a 3D rendering of the Shaw Brothers remake based on a classic novel that inspired the 1977 film, Death Duel.
“If a collaboration between Tsui Hark and I still need big stars to get you to waste your time and spend your money on a ticket, then we might as well pack up, go home, drink whiskey and shoot the breeze,” Yee posted on his Sina Weibo account. “It doesn’t matter who’s acting in the film. Tsui Hark and I are the top stars of the film!”.
Written by Yee and Hark with co-scribe Chun Tin-Nam, The Sword Master just began principal photography with 26-year old actor Kenny Lin (a.k.a. Lin Gengxin pictured left) as Third Master Ah Chi, the role that launched Yee‘s career as an actor at the time; Lin also had a small role in Hark‘s late 2013 flick, Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon. Also joining the cast are The Monkey King co-star Peter Ho reviving actor Yun Ling’s former role as Ah Chi’s nemesis, Yan Shisan; Actresses Jiang Yiyan and Jiang Mengjie round out the cast so far listed.
Personally, I never saw Young Detective Dee, but I certainly know who Hark and Yee are, and in that sense, I can certainly respect what Yee is saying with regard to his casting choices for this film. However, it is arguable that casting, in fact, does matter. Recent events that best exemplify this is the upcoming remake of The Raid under The Expendables 3 helmer Patrick Hughes, who is keeping names tightly under wraps but has already announced a six-month training regimen for a handful of actors involved. And people are extremely curious as to who is going to be cast to do that particular film justice.
However, curiousity may not be too much of an issue here for The Sword Master as we now know who will be cast. So while some speculation can be put to rest, what also matters is how Lin will deliver the iconic character from its 1977 predecessor for a modern day audience. Nonetheless, Yee‘s been after this remake for well over a decade now. That’s how much he loves this project, so I look forward to seeing how he applies his vision for the film when it comes out next year.
Lin will also be appearing in Hark‘s new film, The Taking Of Tiger Mountain later this year, as well as Tsai Yueh-Hsun’s upcoming action thriller sequel, Black & White 2: The Dawn Of Justice.
Stay tuned for more info.
QUESTION: What do you think of Yee’s statements? Leave a comment below or post to us on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #SwordMaster3D.
H/T: FilmBizAsia, IGN
It was late last year that producer and director Derek Yee was finally able to move forward on his long-awaited theatrical remake of director Chor Yuen’s 1977 film, Death Duel with its former title, Third Master’s Sword. This week, progress on the film’s production under Bona Film Group now goes viral in the form of recent concept art for the film now named Sword Master.
Take a look:
Based on late Hong Kong author Gu Long whose work inspired Yee‘s then-lead starpower in the original Shaw Brothers production, the story centers around a swordsman whose past catches up to him after he fakes his own death to escape the underworld. More details are needed on who will star, but this week’s concept art looks pretty reassuring, despite how some may feel about remakes. Plus, the film is also being made in 3D with producer and Hong Kong cinema auteur Tsui Hark who is also readying his next 3D martial arts war thriller, tentatively titled Tracks In The Snowy Mountains.
Release dates are pending, but hopefully we will attain some solid updates for this year. So stay tuned for more info.
Following Bona Film Group’s RMB $1B film fund launch reported in August, Kevin Ma over at FilmBiz.Asia shared some updates on a two-part list of scripts newly approved by China’s state censorship board, SAPPRFT, including Lo-Chi Leung’s The Killer Vanishes, and Derek Yee‘s long-awaited production of Third Master’s Sword; The latter film is based on the writings of late Hong Kong author Gu Long whose work inspired Yee’s lead actor credit in director Chor Yuen’s 1977 Shaw Brothers film Death Duel which starred then-actor Yee in a story centered around a swordsman whose past catches up to him after faking his own death to escape the underworld.
The film has taken a while to get things rolling since its initial announcement back in 2000 with Tsui Hark set to direct with a cast that namely included actress Zhang Ziyi and actor Leslie Cheung before his death three years later, in addition to other legal setbacks there after. Fortunately, the film’s 3D production is now set to begin in January with Hark and Yee producing the film – no word yet on who will star or direct. Bona’s new film fund also included the five-month production of the big screen 3D martial arts war thriller, Tracks In The Snowy Mountains, an adaptation of late author Qu Bo’s 1957 publication of the same name which Hark is also directing.
Stay tuned for more info.