On June 11 afternoon, Beijing Enlight Pictures held a press conference to announce its 8 upcoming/ongoing/future projects/co-productions between 2009 to 2010. Liu Yi Wei and Liu Yan hosted the event that was attended by Enlight’s chairman Wang Zhang Tian and president Zhang Zhao, and their collaborators producer Raymond Wong, directors Gordon Chan, Andrew Lau, etc, as well as comics creator Tony Wong Yuk Long.
2nd film announced is 《阿童木》 Astro Boy , a CG-animated international co-production, directed by David Bowers. With around US$80m spent, it’s the biggest Chinese animated film ever made yet. Astro Boy will be released across the globe on October 23, 2009.
Next is 2010 Lunar New Year comedy 《花田喜事2010》 All’s Well, End’s Well Too 2010, a collaboration with Mandarin Films, with the original cast from All’s Well, End’s Well 2009 returning. Raymond Wong says that as this is a period film, they might include some action scenes.
The 4th film is 《全城戒备》 City Under Siege, directed by Benny Chan. Universe Films’ president Alvin Lam Siu-Keung explains that Benny Chan wasn’t able to attend as he was filming in Hong Kong. He brought along with him a preview video showing a high-flying behind-the-scenes featurette, part of which briefly shows Ngai Sing and Wu Jing rehearsing a fight scene together.
After which Benny Chan was connected on the phone. Benny Chan says that filming for City Under Siege is going on smoothly but rather slowly, as they have copious action to shoot, which is taking up quite substantial time. Benny Chan was so absorbed in the work that he wasn’t even aware of the exact number of days it had been in production. Eventually, he came out with a rough figure: 10 over days. Aaron Kwok, Ngai Sing, Wu Jing, Zhang Jing Chu would have plenteous action scenes.
Not being a martial artist, Zhang Jing Chu is working extra hard, unfazed by all the aches as a result of doing actions all day long. She would rise early in the morning to train, and seek advice from the martial arts choreographer.
Benny Chan adds that they would try to accommodate her, and would make changes to the action if she couldn’t execute the move, “I often tell her, shooting action scenes is like dancing. She is very smart, after fighting for two days, she’s starting to get the feel. I’m very satisfied with her performance.”
Alvin Lam believes that the biggest appeal of City Under Siege is its blending of Chinese kungfu with science fiction.
Zhang Zhao says, “I would still say its the Wolverine image, I especially love X-Men Origins: Wolverine. After watching it, I muttered to myself, films could actually be done this way. I have invested a lot of money, and hope that this will be a true-blue Chinese Sci-fi-actioner. These are the common dreams of our two studios.”
Due to large amount of special effects, City Under Siege would take quite some time in post-production, and is expected to be released no earlier than summer 2010.
The fifth is 《夜行侠陈真》 Nocturnal Paladin Chen Zhen (tentative) , which begins production towards end of this year and is scheduled for December 2010 release. As the title suggests, the film will take place mostly under the cover of the night.
Hoping to do it even better, Gordon Chan who hands over the duty of directing to his friend Andrew Lau and switches to producing the film instead, says that it’s not easy doing remakes, especially when he had already directed Fist of Legend, which itself is already a remake of Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury, in last decade. But he continues that shooting a film on Chen Zhen yet again is a sign of progress in filmmaking. He believes that they have reached yet another level in filmmaking. Donnie Yen will star in and possibly action direct. And they hope to make the best Chinese kungfu film yet.
Next is a film based on 《聊斋》 Dark Tales , due for summer 2010 release, that Gordon Chan is directing, “I want to pick a Dark Tales story that has never been adapted before.”
Dante Lam will be directing 《箭》 Arrow , the first of 《兵器谱》 Codex of Weapons series (tentative), budgeted at 60m yuan. Production begins sometime next year. This series of action films relates to the weapons, technologies and inventions of ancient China.
Lastly, Gordon Chan is at the helm again, planning a series of movie adaptations on Wen Rui An’s 《四大名捕》 The Fantastic Four Constables (tentative) . They would employ new means of filming to create the four young heroes: Cold Blood, Iron Hand, Life Chaser, Passionless. The film is in early scripting phase and they intend to introduce fresh talent to the market that is dominated by older artistes.