Diehard fans of martial arts films will remember Jet Li’s (李连杰) 1982 movie, Shaolin Temple <少林寺>, which stirred up a Shaolin kung fu wave at that time. The popular film left many legacies, in which Jet Li was propelled into a martial arts superstar. The film revived the popularity of Shaolin kung fu, spawning many filmmakers to produce more Shaolin martial arts based movies. The film also set an astonishing box office record. With movie ticket prices of only ten cents in China in 1982, Shaolin Temple miraculously raked in more than $100 million RMB!
Yesterday, Enlight Media announced ambitious plans to remake Shaolin Temple. The abbot of Shaolin Temple, Shi Yongxin (释永信), made a special guest appearance at the media conference to lend his support for the new film. Enlight Media’s Managing Director, Wang Changtian (王长田) vowed to produce a high-quality film, which will showcase the spirit of Shaolin and its glorious kung fu. Audiences can also watch the film in 3D for a more thrilling experience!
New “Shaolin Temple” to Groom a Second Jet Li
The role of Monk Jueyuan in 1982′s Shaolin Temple brought Jet Li international fame. It is a critical character in the new film as well. Currently, the producer is searching for a distinctive newcomer with superb martial arts background. A rigorous national search will occur to find a newcomer that can be groomed to become the next Jet Li.
The selected actor will need to stay in a Shaolin temple for a period of time, to train under Shaolin kung fu and experience a monk’s life. This will allow the actor to display the true Shaolin culture and spirit in the film.
Enlight Media will also invite Jet Li to star in the role of Chang Zong, Shaolin’s head monk. However, Jet Li has not been officially contacted yet.
“The Avengers” 3D Technology Featured in “Shaolin Temple” Remake
For optimal visual effects, the remake of Shaolin Temple will utilize the latest 3D imaging technology from Hollywood film, The Avengers. Adding 3D effects will provide audiences with a more immersive movie experience. The film will also invite top-notch production speciliasts from overseas to aid in the pre and post production planning.
Mr. Wang Changtian also disclosed that the remake of Shaolin Temple hoped to pursue perfection on many levels, with box office results as a secondary target.
The True Spirit of Shaolin Temple
The remake of Shaolin Temple will center on the story of how Monk Jueyuan and his fellow monks save Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, Li Shimin, from a ruthless warlord. Although similar to Jet Li’s classic 1982 film, the remake will give the story more depth and provide a more complete historical account.
Enlight Media’s Managing Director, Mr. Wang, said that there was more room for plot development, as the previous film left many gaps in the story. He indicated that the new film can explore the character of Li Shimin on a deeper level.
Mr. Wang also said, “The story is based on historical facts; we will do our best to follow history closely. Besides recounting a historical event, we will also write a magnificent story. We hope that through the story, we can show the connection of Shaolin and the country in times of a turbulent era; the connection of monks and society, the connection of individual and a group of people. Hence, we will convey the true spirit of Shaolin Temple!”
To present a perfect film on the big screen, the remake of Shaolin Temple will require one year of pre-production planning. Actual filming will take place in August or September 2013. The film is expected to release in cinemas in 2014.
This article is written by Stella for JayneStars.com.
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