A brand new Wong Fei Hung film is officially in production. Titled Rise of the Legend <黃飛鴻之英雄有夢>, the new movie will helm the revival of the Wong Fei Hung franchise, which reached a popularity peak in director Tsui Hark’s (徐克) Once Upon a Time in China <黃飛鴻> film series in the 1990s. The new film will focus on action and comedy in hopes of appealing to the younger generation. Production of the movie began on August 20 in China, with location shoots planned in Shanghai and Wuzhen.
Rise of the Legend will be directed by Roy Chow (周顯揚), a Hong Kong director who won acclaim for 2009’s Murderer <殺人犯> and 2012’s Nightfall <大追捕>. William Kong (江志強), the talent responsible for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon <臥虎藏龍>, Hero <英雄>, and Fearless <霍元甲>, will produce the film. Sammo Hung (洪金寶) will star as the main antagonist of the movie. TV actor Wong Cho Lam (王祖藍) will portray Wong Fei Hung’s disciple and comic relief Buck Tooth So (牙擦蘇). Max Zhang (張晉), Boran Jing (井柏然), and Feng Jia Yi (馮嘉怡) will also star.
While the studio did not officially announce the actor who will play the titular character Wong Fei Hung in the new film, rumors claimed that Taiwanese actor Eddie Peng (彭于晏) has won the honor. A representative from the film company replied that the final casting decision for Wong Fei Hung has not been determined yet, but admitted that Eddie Peng is one of the contenders.
According to reports, Rise of the Legend will be set in Guangzhou during the late Qing dynasty. Wong Fei Hung and friends will use their wit and physical skills to break up a human trafficking operation headed by a powerful gang. To achieve realistic-looking action sequences, the studio hired action director and choreographer Corey Yuen (元奎), best known for his collaboration with action star Jet Li (李連杰). The cast also trained rigorously with Nanquan masters to perfect the southern fist fighting style.
Director Roy Chow shared that he had spent months researching the best possible cast. He hopes that the younger actors will bring a youthful spirit to the new adaptation. Roy Chow understood that the appeal of the classic Wong Fei Hung films was the real kung fu and will have the cast train extensively for their roles. Speaking about the series’ revival, the director said, “It has been twenty years since anyone attempted to put big hero Wong Fei Hung on the silver screen. This is the longest time that we’ve had to live without Wong Fei Hung in Chinese movie history. This year is therefore the best time to revive the series. We have prepared for this for a very long time, and I am completely confident about this project.”
This article is written by Katrine for JayneStars.com.