Masters of Universe: Benny Chan's new project + Pang brothers' INFERNO 3D & more (FILMART 2012)
During the 16th
Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART) (March 19-22, 2012), the Hong Kong production and distribution company
Universe announced the big new projects of
Benny Chan, who has come back to the explosive modern action genre two years after
CITY UNDER SIEGE, and also the
Pang brothers (
Oxyde and Danny),
who signed a 10-year deal with Universe in 2009, and who since have
been regularly delivering mostly genre movies like the action fantasy
THE STORM WARRIORS and the horror film
Mia Sin, distribution executive for
Universe Films, tells us more about these directors' upcoming projects.
Yes. Their collaboration will be beneficial to each other. Under
Universe they have the freedom to do the projects they want to try to
do, like I
NFERNO 3Da disaster film. They have never made that
kind of film before. It is one of the two big projects that we announced
this year at FILMART. It is an $18 million US budget film, the hightest
budget movie ever made by Universe, even more expensive than
THE STORM WARRIORS.
is still in pre-production but we have already confirmed that the cast
includes Lau Ching-wan and Louis Koo. It is the second movie made by the
Pang brothers in 3D; the first one was
CHILD'S EYE, a horror film.
MS: No. It's a temporary key-art
that we prepared before FILMART. We used some of his old movie images
but that's just a way to remind people what Lau Ching-wan did before.
Because that film is one of his classics, right? I think that it will be
an interesting partnership between him and Louis Koo who is, like him, a
major Hong Kong actor now.
Yes, we have some investors from China which is a very important
market, of course. We also have some stars from Mainland China like Wang
BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS and Wang Bao Qiang who recently acted in Dante Lam's
FIRE OF CONSCIENCE. They are both very popular now in Mainland China.
MS: Definitely. Everybody who comes to our booth asks us about
and the new Benny Chan project, the untitled one, which is about drug
trafficking. It's a modern cop action movie, and people have been
looking forward to this movie. Those are basically the two movies that
people are showing a big interest in.
That's true but in Mainland China there's still a high demand for 3D
movies, especially the high budget, big scale 3D films. And as we
remember, they have done martial arts films in 3D but not disaster
films. So I think that the combination of fire and 3D will be very
interesting. And that's why it will take a year to do the
It's a solo project from Danny Pang; a suspense thriller which will be
released this May in Hong Kong. It stars Lau Ching-wan and Wang Bao
Qiang again. And also our own actress Elanne Kwong, who is one of the
female leads in
CHILD'S EYE. This one is quite interesting for
the overseas distributors as well because the storyline is very clear.
It's about a detective, played by Lau Ching-wan, who has to investigate
serial killings done in a fairytale way, but also a bloody way, a brutal
way. Lau Ching-wan knows who is the murderer is from the beginning.
It's like a cat and mouse game where good and evil fight against each
other. This one has a $3.5 million US budget. They shot it in Thailand.
Yes, Danny and Oxyde Pang worked with a Thailand crew for many years,
so they feel comfortable there. The production and the post-production
from Thailand are high quality.
MS: Do you remember
THE DETECTIVE 2 by Oxyde Pang? This is like the finale of the whole "Detective" film series. We changed the name to
the producer wants to differentiate this movie from the previous two,
even if they were well acclaimed. But for this one, the final one, the
production budget is higher. It is $5 million US and we have another
major actor in this film: Nick Cheung, who is such an awesome actor. The
chemistry between Aaron Kwok and Nick Cheung, who are both
award-winning actors, should be something that the audience can look
forward to. We are still shooting the movie in Malaysia, Thailand and
Mainland China. We just got a rough promo ready right before FILMART.
MS: Yes, in the Asian territories mostly. We sold
Japan, which for example is a very tough market. Part 2 was released
last year in Hong Kong, so we are still working on the Part 2 sales this
year at FILMART.
MS: The main cast is not yet confirmed, and we don't want to confuse the buyers with a title that maybe misleads them.
MS: As always.
MS: Yes. We'll have to announce it a little bit later because the Pang brothers are focusing on
THE EXORCISTwill be a more traditional horror film like
For this one, they don't want to play with 3D; they'll try to go back
to the basics. We'll have Charlene Choi in it as the leading actress.
To us, FILMART is always a good market. As long as the buyers come to
Hong Kong, they definitely have to meet with all the Hong Kong
companies. That why we set up such a big booth and launched many new
titles at FILMART: in order to pitch the pre-sales in Southeast Asian
territories. The result is quite good. I think we can already do some
pre-sales for the new projects here in Hong Kong.
Interview conducted by
Frédéric Ambroisineat FILMART on March 20th, 2012. Edited by
Sylvia Rorem. Cross-published on