Award-winning filmmaker and Corey Yuen protégé Bao Tran has earned his stripes well in the past decade as an emerging director. Having further envisioned his progression with keener representation of minorities on the big screen, his latest application with kung fu comedy thriller, The Paper Tigers, aims to do that and a whole lot more.
The project’s history dates back to 2015, beginning initially as a hard-hitting proof-of-concept called The Challenger. In the years that followed, Tran and his team, along with producer Al’n Duong, were hard at work advancing with intricate financing and planning measures to galvanize supporters and kung fu cinema fans alike, and even trekking to the Frontières Market in Cannes to make their appeal. Last Spring, Tran and his team were finally able to to commence principal photography after hitting their key crowdfunding goals.
As for The Paper Tigers, actors Alain Uy, Ron Yuan and Mykel Shannon Jenkins play the title trio – three former Kung Fu prodigies who’ve since become washed-up, middle-aged men nearly one kick away from pulling their hamstrings. When they learn their master has been murdered, they must escape their dead-end jobs and overcome old grudges to avenge his death.
The film also stars Matt Page, better known as internet Ameri-Do-Te sensation Master Ken, along with Phillip Dang, Andy Le and Brian Le, actress Park Jae-suh and actor Raymond Ma, and features appearances by Yoshi Sudarso, Peter Sudarso, Gui DaSilva and Mark Poletti, and fight choreography by co-star Ken Quitugua (Unlucky Stars).
We’ll learn more eventually about the film’s release plans as time moves forward. For now, if you’ve waited as long as I have for the teaser, check it out above. You’ve earned it!
XYZ Films represents U.S. sales rights in North America; AMP International has global.