WHILE HOLLYWOOD IS KUNGFU FIGHTING, CHINA TURNS TO SCI-FI

Perhaps, feeling upstaged by Hollywood in kungfu genre in the recent years, Chinese directors are responding with their answers to X-Men and Transformers. One is Future Cop, directed by Wong Jing, while another is Robot, directed by Jeffrey Lau.

First up is Wong Jing’s 《未来警察》 Future Cop(s)(tentative), starring Andy Lau, Big S Barbie Hsu, Xu Jiao, Fan Bing Bing, Tang Yi Fei, He Jun Xiang, Zheng Yuan Chang, Guo Pin Chao, Chen Chien Chou, which begins production on November 10 in Beijing. The film will later move location to Taiwan and Hong Kong. Not being in a hurry, Wong Jing will not be rushing through post-production, and the film might not be out until 2010. Special effects will be handled by the team behind The Dark Knight.

Andy Lau says that with Ching Siu Tung as the action director, he will have many difficult stunts in the movie, and one of his appearances requires wearing some kind of Iron Man suit, complete with helmet.

Barbie Hsu is just too glad to work with Andy Lau. Both she and her sister Little S are big fans of Andy Lau and the envious Little S hopes to visit the set. Barbie Hsu will be also getting some fighting scenes.

In Future Cops, Andy Lau plays a cop from the future, 2185, while Xu Jiao plays his daughter, who’s kidnapped and brought back to 2010. Andy Lau, traipsing through time, will have a cross-dimensional romance with present-day cop Barbie Hsu as they team up to find the kidnappers.

Jeff Lau’s going to create what is touted as the Chinese kungfu version of Transformers – or rather Terminator – with 《机器侠》 Robot/Robotic Hero (tentative), his newest film that blends slapstick comedy, moving romance and scintillating kungfu with science-fiction. Producer Zhuo Shun Guo says, “The robot will feel very close, very familiar, very human to us, being the embodiments of Eastern wisdom and power.”


Jeff Lau, who’s been planning the film for 10 years, says, “I have always wanted to shoot an actual science fiction, I’ve always been thinking this middle-aged old man has not done any things good enough, but if there’s a sci-fi world, if I could be there, could I have done it better?”


Set in the future, Robot, about a newly invented AI robot being planted secretly among the human population in a far-off village to assess its functionalities, will feature a number of fights between the good and bad robots, as well as towering skyscrapers scenes. Reportedly, the film will feature highly realistic CGIs, matching the standard of the live action version of Transformers. Budgeted at 100m yuan, Robot, the first film to be produced by the studio newly formed by Jeffrey Lau and LeTV.com, is eying a summer 2009 release.


The cast will only be announced when production begins on November 19 in Ningbo. Producer Zhuo Shun Guo says that as they wanted Robot to be a film accentuating Chinese characteristics and culture, they picked the utopia-like Ningbo’s Zou Ma Tang village, built in AD 988, to be a major filming location. Other notable locations include Oriental Pearl Tower and World Financial Center in Shanghai.  
Shanghai Afternoon Post, Sohu, Beijing Evening News

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