Director Jimmy Henderson and actor and martial arts star Jean-Paul Ly are back in the habit these days with post-production under way for Chinese fight-heavy thriller, The Guardian. The film, shot entirely in Cambodia and wrapped two weeks ago, reunites Henderson and Ly with actor and rising star Gu Shangwei who led the cast for survival thriller, The Prey, on which Ly also served as fight choreographer.
In The Guardian, Gu plays Gao Ran, a widoed, underdog boxer who throws fights in order to raise his daughter, Coco, while often tangling with her father in law, Lao Ye, who wants custody. When Coco suddenly goes missing, Gao’s unrelenting search unearths a human trafficking network where he will stop at nothing to save Coco once and for all, and he won’t be treading lightly.
Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang (Monster Hunt, Monster Hunt 2, The Adventurers) will play Lao Ye. Tsang’s fellow 7 Assasins co-star, actor Waise Lee (A Better Tomorrow, Running Out Of Time, The Four trilogy), and actor and martial arts star Andy On (Unbeatable, Blackhat, One Night Only) take up the respective roles of detectives Shangze and Lonson who join Gao in search of his daughter. Southeast Asian-based New York actor and stunt performer Charlie Ruedpokanon (Ninja: Shadow Of A Tear) will star as Coco’s kidnapper, Chakun, while the aforementioned Jean-Paul Ly will be getting in on the action once more this time as Chakun’s key henchman.
The Guardian, releasing in China as 守护神之绝境营救 (Patron Saint: Desperate Rescue), hails from Zhongshi Shangying and Wanwei Film; Jiang Yihan is producing the film with a script by Gao Yan, best known for penning action star Wu Jing’s 2017 blockbuster grosser, Wolf Warrior 2. Du Jinghai, serving as action director, coordinated the fight scenes along with assistant fight choreographer, Dara Bokator.
Henderson and Bokator initially paired together for 2015 vigilante actioner, Hanuman, prior to their acclaim in 2017 for the release of hit action comedy, Jailbreak. The film became a breakout hit for British actor and martial artist Ly in a debut lead role which later audience praise at Fantasia Festival in 2017, winning the special prize in Action! Award, Mention, and the Bronze prize for Most Innovative Feature Film.
Gu previously debuted in 2016 leading the cast on martial arts thriller, Bloody Destiny. Ly, whose credits also include Now You See Me 2 and Marvel’s Doctor Strange will later appear in Ross Boyask’s upcoming Vengeance 2 and this August for Kenneth Branagh’s Disney release, Artemis Fowl. Martial arts star On joins Scott Adkins for the Shout! Studios release, Abduction, on June 7.