JEFF LAU’S KUNGFU CYBORG ATTRACTION ROLLS CAMERA

WU JING’S ACTION SCENES ARE THE MOST EXTRAVAGANT

Press conference marking the camera rolling inauguration of 100m 《机器侠》 yuan Robot/Kungfu Cyborg Attraction (working title), a co-production by Leshi Zhenwei Productions, Mei Ah and HTV Film was held on December 15 morning in Ningbo. Director Jeffrey Lau, cast members Hu Jun, Sun Li, Ronald Cheng, Wu Jing, Alex Fong, Gan Wei turned up to unveil the mysteries behind this romantic sci-fi kungfu comedy.

Kung Fu Cyborg Attraction is about the battle of good vs evil between robots, showing their self-redemption in the process. As the film contains various elements that run the gamut from romance, comedy to kungfu, each actor in the film has their own mission. Wu Jing will do the fighting, Ronald Cheng will tickle your funny bones, while Hu Jun, Alex Fong and Sun Li will add romantic touches to the film.

Hu Jun plays a sheriff – a normal human – who is later modified into a Robocop. Hu Jun says that what makes his cybernetics part special is that it allows him to morph into different things at will. For example, his head can turn into a chopper. The film affords him a new endeavour as he’s shedding his hardy image to play someone is more tender.

Sun Li plays an adopted sister of Hu Jun who falls for robot Alex Fong, “The character I play is in love with an android, it’s a very moving type of love, very special, also very paradoxical, very different from what I’ve done before.”

However, but she’s uglified in the movie, “I look rather unsightly at first, and I found it hard to accept. But on looking at Alex Fong’s makeup, I’m consoled. He is worst than me.”

On the other hand, she’d turn more beautiful after falling in love.

Alex Fong plays a newly created national android with AI and emotions, “In games, I can control the robots. But in Kungfu Cyborg Attraction, I’ve turned into a robot instead. This kind of sensation is very different, and interesting.”

Since director Jeffrey Lau wishes to create a kungfu robot film, it’s mandatory to find a comparable martial arts exponent for the film, the onus of which falls upon Wu Jing, playing an android that has taken the wrong path, but eventually turns over a new leaf.

 

Wu Jing, as the most advanced android, one which can think like humans, and best fighting machine, wields a 2m long gigantic blade. His wushu skills enhanced with CGIs will create a brand new image, an oriental robot with Chinese kungfu.

Wu Jing is very happy to be on this production, and also feels it a big challenge to play a robot with complex thinking and sentiments, “Director Liu told me four sentences. They are very philosophical, and reflect the similarities and differences between humans and robots.”

Having worked as a director has greatly broadened Wu Jing’s horizons. He becomes more perspicacious and contemplative on the set, enabling him to see things differently on the set, like understanding placement of cameras, or coming up with different interpretations for the same line. However, he won’t overstep his boundary as an actor, and would just do what director Jeffrey Lau instructs.

 

Apart from being fond of Jeffrey Lau’s works, Wu Jing says that he hopes to learn from the director, for not many people shoot slapstick comedies. He hopes to observe Jeffrey Lau, his approach to filmmaking, pick up some knowledge on filming, to see for himself how enormous is the world of this master director, learning as much as he can.

Wu Jing also has loads of fun on the set with the martial arts choreographer Yuen Tak. While Yuen Tak is very exigent and strict, they hit it off very well.

Director Jeffrey Lau adds that some androids in this film are capable of transforming, turning into very large armoured robots. They have even created robot replicas of Wu Jing and Alex Fong, mimicking their expressions and movements possibly using motion-capture.

 

A climatic battle will see Wu Jing and Alex Fong fighting each other, with Alex Fong doing Bruce Lee impressionism, only to be squashed as he’s just an empty vessel.

Director Jeff Lau expresses great confidence in Wu Jing, spending 12m yuan on his scenes. Not only has he created an ornate 2m gargantuan blade for Wu Jing, but will also pit Wu Jing against a gigantic CGI robot. This imaginary robot stands 20m tall, and Wu Jing has been suspended on wires, flitting about, slashing at nothing but air with the huge, heavy blade, spraining his wrist a few days ago.

Playing a cranky teacher, Ronald Cheng, responsible for cracking jokes in the film, has an even weirder look in Kungfu Cyborg Attraction, “I’m not a robot, but a robot wannabe, so I make myself very odd, even wearing a commode.”

On this, the director describes, “The audience won’t even recognise Ronald Cheng when they first see him.“

Law Kar Ying, Eric Tsang and Stephy Tang will have cameos in the film.

Hu Jun and Sun Li lodge their complaints to the reporters concerning the plot and the exact nature of their characters. Hu Jun says, “The director changes the script everyday. What we receive on the set is often different from the original script.”

“The director’s is far too imaginative, often coming up with new ideas, so some parts of the storyline may often be changed.” concurs Sun Li.

Initially, Hu Jun and Sun Li are siblings, and both are cops. Sun Li and a robot Alex Fong are in love with each other, while Ronald Cheng carries a torch for Sun Li. But the two’s relations have been changed – now Hu Jun is also secretly falling for Sun Li, who’s his adopted sister instead, and later Wu Jing comes into the equation as well.

 

The director jested, “Hu Jun and Wu Jing’s relationships are a mess, in real life, they’re very topsy-turvy too.”

Jeff Lau says, “This is definitely not Transformers, for I’m shooting a film on Chinese robots. I very fond of Wall-e, I feel that my robots and Wall-e’s viewpoints on the world are slightly similar. This film may perhaps influence human’s perceptions on love in the future. People might become lonelier, and create robots to keep them company, and even be in love with robots.”

Kungfu Cyborg Attraction is scheduled for summer 2009 release.  Sina, LeTV.com

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