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