42-part kungfu series 《少林寺传奇３—大漠英雄》 Legend of Shaolin Kungfu 3: Heroes of the Great Desert has finally begun production in Gansu on September 7, and filming will go on for 5 to 6 months. The TV series is helmed by Du Xiao, with screenplay by Wu Han and Lu Jian, while Li Cai provides the martial arts choreography.
Legend of Shaolin Kungfu 3 is about an Imperial Convoy, comprising Manchu officials and 8 Shaolin monks, assigned by Emperor Kangxi, escorting a cabalistic chest to Western Region, and the mission is fraught with dangers as various people attempt to rob, steal or destroy the chest.
According to the documentary director Liu Xi Ye, who has kindly been fielding questions on Baidu, the cast includes Xu Peng Jun as 1st Shaolin disciple, Li Yuan (2nd disciple), Xie Miao (3rd disciple), Cao Jun (5th disciple), Xu Ming Hu (6th disciple), Li Chong (8th disciple), while Sun Hui Ning is playing Bing Yu, Bai Qing Lin plays Ying Hua, Pan Yuan Jia a 5-Venom member, and Ji Chun Hua, Wang Zhi Gang and Li Shi De are taking on the roles of Manchu officials.
All known actors playing the 8 Shaolin monks are real-life martial artists, excepting Li Chong. Xu Peng Jun is trained formally in Shaolin martial arts, and senior of Wang Bao Qiang.
The narrative structure will be similar to the first instalment, with various related but independent shorter stories piecing together to form a bigger picture.
Li Yuan explains that the delay in production commencement was due to the director being particularly exacting and demanding on this final and concluding part of the trilogy and kept refining the script and was very careful on casting too.
Xie Miao says that they have been doing martial arts scenes mostly in the past few days, and there is a great rise and drop in temperatures between day and night, with it being very hot in the day and cold at night, and some members of the production are having difficulties adjusting to the local climate. And it’s really arduous on everyone who is doing action on the sweltering desert.
Cao Jun, 21, another child martial arts star (Royal Monk) who’s now grown up, disrupted his fourth year study at the university in order to join this production, thus delaying his graduation. He says this TV series has plenty of martial arts sequences, and the director is great. He’d do his best in this work.