Shaolin Temple: Broken-Armed Abbot
《少林寺·断臂方丈》 Shaolin Temple: Broken-Armed Abbot (tentative), the first of 120 episodes 《少林寺传奇》 Shaolin Legends Trilogy drama serial will begin production on a CCTV soundstage in Hebei on June 1 and expects to be completed in October. Directed by Du Xiao with Ching Siu Tung as the martial arts director, the cast consists of such celebrities as Anthony Wong, Bao Guo An and Guo Da, and various wushu champions and martial artists, including Yu Cheng Hui, Ji Chun Hua, Xiao Miao, Li Yuan, Pan Yuan Jia, Ye Jian Wei, Wang Xiao Long, Chen Jia Jia (the female general in Seven Swords), etc.
Bao Guo An, most noted for his role as warlord Cao Cao in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, says, “I’m playing Shaolin Abbot Hong Ren, I’m just an icing on the cake. I will be propagating Shaolin culture and Shaolin martial arts.” Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong will play the main villain, a duke, who has only 4 episodes worth of screen time. He says his role will not be a disappointment to the audience. Wang Gang will play the tyrant Emperor.
Xie Miao, who played Jet Li’s son in both New Legend of Shaolin Temple and My Father, the Hero, will play, Hui Ren, one of the six Shaolin disciples. He committed himself to the role immediately after going through the script, “I believe that in a kungfu series, kungfu speaks the loudest.” The youngest member of the cast, Wang Xiao Long, 8, will be playing another of the six Shaolin disciples. He has had four years of training in a Henan Shaolin wushu school. Director Du Xiao promises that the TV series will be a showcase of authentic martial arts with nary any flowery action.
Ji Chun Hua, who has been playing villainous roles, recently played a good guy in Seven Swordsmen, laments that only Tsui Hark see the goodness in him, “It’s not easy for me to turn over a new leaf, who’d expect that I have to be a villain again. However it’s worthwhile to return to Shaolin Temple.” Yu Cheng Hui says that he will play a villain that is different from his role in the original Shaolin Temple movie, giving the audience a taste of freshness.
Martial arts choreographer Ching Siu Tung, who is currently working on Curse of Golden Armour, says that it has always been his dream to bring Shaolin kungfu to the screen. Compared to his previous wuxia works, Ching Siu Tung expresses that, “It’s easier to choreograph this TV series, for the major cast members are wushu champions and kungfu stars. I can freely convey my own achievement in wushu without any shackles.” Ching Siu Tung adds that the charm of Shaolin kung fu itself is already beyond measure, so, he needs not rack his brains trying to come out with new moves, for there are already plenty of moves from the library of Shaolin martial arts that he can adapt to his choreography. Dong Fang Today
The Shaolin Legends Trilogy, which is unrelated to the ongoing martial arts stars talent scout to recruit cast members for another TV series and movie revolving around Shaolin Temple, consists of Shaolin Temple: One Armed Abbot, 35 episodes, set in Southern and Northern Dynasty, 420 – 589, relates to the early days of Shaolin Temple and the abbot and his six disciples saving the people from miseries; 《少林寺·十三棍僧救唐王》Shaolin Temple: Thirteen Warrior Monks, set in late Sui Dynasty, about the thirteen pole-wielding monks rescuing Li Shi Ming, who later founded Tang Dynasty; 《少林寺·十八小铜人》Shaolin Temple: Eighteen Bronzemen, set in Ming Dynasty, about warrior monks fighting off pirates from other countries and defending their land.
Shaolin Temple: One-Armed Abbot, which begins production on June 1, is expected to be released in early 2007. The other two parts will be filmed in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Beijing Morning Post