SATURDAY FICTION: Don’t Miss The First Teaser For Lou Ye’s Explosive New WWII Noir Thriller
An action-packed, compelling and explosive new noir thriller in director/producer Lou Ye’s latest, Saturday Fiction, just had its premiere at Venezia76, and the first official teaser is seeping out onto the interwebs for all to sample. The footage looks and feels fantastic and actress Gong Li is as fine as ever on screen in the role she appears in this time around.
MULAN: Jet Li, Gong Li And Xana Tang Join The Cast For The Live-Action Film
News seems to be fast-tracking this week for Walt Disney Pictures amid the current progress toward reviving the studio’s animated gender-bending classic, Mulan.
Following the addition of international action star and actor Donnie Yen for the role of Commander Tang on Wednesday, three new names are now circling the live-action production: International action star Jet Li (Hero, The Expendables Trilogy), distinguished actress Gong Li (Curse Of The Golden Flower, Miami Vice, The Monkey King 2) and New Zealand actress Xana Tang (Filthy Rich, Dead Lucky).
As Rebecca Sun’s exclusive at The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday confirms, Jet Li is in final talks to play the Emperor of China. The report also cites at least two moves signaling departures from the Barry Cook/Tony Bancroft-directed 1998 film, highlighting actress Li for the role of a powerful witch, and actress Tang who will play Mulan’s sister.
Actress Crystal Liu is headlining the cast as production readies for an August start ahead of a March 27, 2020 release with Whale Rider helmer Niki Caro directing. Succeeding from its folkloric roots, Mulan tells of a young girl who seizes her ailing father’s armor and conscription to serve in his place when the emperor enlists one male from each household, at a time when women performing any duties other than the confines at home was considered taboo and strictly forbidden.
Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin are penning the script. Chris Bender, Jason Reed and Jake Weiner are producing with Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, Rise Of A Legend, Monster Hunt) executive producing.
Jet Li is repped by Current Entertainment and Bloom Hergott while Gong Li is repped by ICM, and Xana Tang is repped by Gail Cowan Management and Cunningham Escott Slevin & Doherty (CESD).
THE MONKEY KING 2 Now Filming; Cast/Character Details Available
From L to R: William Feng, Xiao Shen Yang, Gong Li, Him Law and Aaron Kwok
Late author Wu Cheng’en’s 16th century novel, “Journey To The West”, continually makes for great source material for those interested in seeing what great lengths they can take to accommodate possible film prospects. Terence Cheung knows this, having already seen major results with this year’s long-awaited fantasy adaptation, The Monkey King with action star Donnie Yen back in January.
Now, as per earlier plans to expand on the film’s success with the prospects of turning it into a franchise, principal photography is already underway in Wuxi, China for The Monkey King 2 from Filmko Entertainment. Actor Aaron Kwok who portrayed the Bull Demon King in the first film has inherited the title role in the new movie, which will be centered on Curse Of The Golden Flower leading lady, actress Gong Li‘s portrayal of The White Skeleton Demon. Actor William Feng is also starring as the holy monk, Tang Sanzang who begins his westward journey to retrieve the Buddhist scrolls. Playing his disciples are actor Xiao Shen Yang as the pig, Zhu Bajie, and actor Him Law as the sand monk, Sha Wujing, the latter who had a smaller role in the first film as young god, Muzha.
Co-producer Michael Wehrhahn, representing Global Star Productions for the first film’s expected release next year, was on hand to share some gems publicly about the sequel last month while attending the Urban Action Showcase & Expo. “It’s going to be a little bit more developed…” he said in part. “…I’m estimating that we’ll probably have it wrapped up within the next two years.” Indeed, as the production is currently slated for a five-month period as of late November with plans to release the film in time for the Lunar New Year celebration on February 8, 2016. Obviously it’s still a bit of wait, although it is much shorter compared to its predecessor which took close to four years following Yen’s attachment, although this should be more of a cakewalk by now with a teaser possibly arriving around late Fall, give or take a few weeks.
In the meantime, Global Star Productions is on track to deliver a North American version of The Monkey King by February next year while Cheung‘s recently completed effort with the upcoming Tony Jaa/Wu Jing headliner, SPL 2: A Time For Consequences is readying a 2015 release as well.
Stay tuned for more info. In the meantime, check out some behind-the-scenes photos of our cast undergoing hours of make-up, officially unveiled by Filmko in the gallery below, courtesy of MTime.
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