Gordon Chan to Remake “Legend of the Condor Heroes”

After the success of 2008 fantasy film Painted Skin <畫皮>, Hong Kong director Gordon Chan (陳嘉上) has been filming more big-budget projects. Though his films Mural <畫壁>, The Four <四大名捕>, and The Four 2 were not well-received critically, they were box office successes in mainland China.

The Chinese media reported that after Gordon Chan completes the post-production of The Four 3, which will be the final chapter of the film series, he will enter pre-production for his new film Legend of the Condor Heroes <射雕英雄傳>, an adaptation of the classic Jin Yong(金庸) novel of the same name.

The famous Jin Yong novel, well-known among the Chinese masses, has been adapted to numerous films and television dramas. The most famous adaptation was the 1983 Hong Kong TVB television drama, which starred Felix Wong (黃日華), Barbara Yung (翁美玲), and Michael Miu (苗僑偉). Other well-received adaptations include 2003 mainland Chinese adaptation starring Li Yapeng (李亞鵬) and Zhou Xun (周迅).

Sources say that Gordon Chan immediately took on the project when he heard that Enlight Pictures held the movie copyrights for the novel. There were reports saying that Enlight Pictures had already has plans to make it a trilogy. Deng Chao (鄧超), Betty Sun (孫儷), Crystal Liu (劉亦菲), Ada Liu (柳岩), Lola Xie (謝楠), and Wu Jing (吳京) are reportedly in talks to star, but Enlight Pictures later stated that nothing has been confirmed yet. However, Enlight Pictures did confirm that Gordon Chan has taken on the project and the film is currently in scriptwriting stages.

In an earlier interview, Gordon Chan lamented at the fact that there has not been a good film adaptation of Legend of the Condor Heroes thus far. “The television dramas were better, but TV and film are not the same. There hasn’t been a good movie adaptation. Hollywood has Harry Potter, but what do we have? Our Legend of the Condor Heroes is more awesome than Harry Potter.”

Chan’s last film series, The Four, incorporated magic and wuxia into one genre. Asked if he will use a similar approach for Legend of the Condor Heroes, he said he will present what should be presented. The direction of the film is still in the beginning stages and the cast has not been decided yet.

In addition, Chan said he is also preparing another film, which will be a “Beijing romance story”. As a Hong Kong director who is working in mainland, he hopes to make a movie that is suitable for local viewers. He admitted that he admires his friends Peter Chan (陳可辛) and Tsui Hark (徐克) in that aspect.

Source: 21CN.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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    1. I agree. There are a lot of characters and plot twists to fit into a two hour film.

      1. Well, most of the storyline will be chopped off…but it will be okay because I think this new movie version is targeted at a younger audience who have never watched the Felix Wong/Barbara Yung version. I can say with 99% certainty that I will not be watching this movie tho, because I know it will just frustrate me. When it comes to the Condor Heroes, I’m stuck in the 80s.

      2. @Mt: I’m’ right there with you on this! When it comes to Jin Yong remakes, the TVB versions from the 80s will always be the best ones in my book – whether from a casting standpoint, acting, script, production values, etc. (It’s interesting that those wuxia fighting sequences from the ‘pre-technology’ days of the 70s/80s/early 90s looked way more realistic than all the CGI-overload fake-looking crap we get today). Sure, some of the 80s series may not have followed 100% to the novels, but then again very few book adaptations actually do – as long as it’s not major “this makes no sense” type of change (like some of the recent adaptations of Jin Yong’s novels have done), then I don’t have too much problem with it.

        On the other hand, I honestly don’t have much confidence in FILM adaptations of JY’s novels, mostly because of the time limitation, which obviously makes even a decent adaptation virtually impossible (I’ve never seen anyone cram 5 to 6 books worth of content into a 2 hour film successfully)….unless of course they turn it into a loosely based parody (like Wong Kar Wai did back in 1993 with “Eagles Shooting Heroes”) or use the same/similar characters to tell a completely different story (again like Wong Kar Wai did with Ashes of Time in 1994)….though of course, they have to be up front about it from the getgo so that everyone knows it’s not truly based on the novel.

        Bottom line…no more Jin Yong adaptations please!!! There are already plenty of good and bad JY adaptations from the past 4 decades to last us a lifetime – no need to keep adding more!

    2. He planned on making 3 installments, but even then it wouldn’t work IMO. I remembered TVB attempted to condense the 3 parts of the 1982’s version into 1 in the 1994’s version. That made the 1994’s version with Chilam and Athena crappy. Now not to mention it’ll be a film version.

      Anyway, TVB’s version with Felix and Barbara is the best TV adaptation.

      1. Yes, most chinese friends I know (Mandarin and Cantonese) perfer the 1982 version over the other ones.

      2. I’m not a huge fan of Gordan Chan and I really don’t think he appreciates the work enough to make a good rendition.

        He’s likely going to compromise on the storyline and characters so everything will squeeze in. Unfortunately, his cut here and there will be so substantial that the whole storyline won’t flow.

      3. But, the 1994 version supposed to follow the novel more closely while the 1982 version added a lot of extra stuff.

    3. I agree and have seen some film adaptions and it just does not work at all. These long novels need a series in order to be adequate. Even with a long series,there are still many elements that are changed simplified and cut out so how in the world will it work with a shiort film?

      The princess pearl for example would work well in a short film because the story itself is very simple. The series just added so many things that can easily be cut out.

  1. I guess they have to just select one portion of the book to be made into a film. Else it will get confusing if they try to squeeze the whole story into 2 hours.

  2. So FIGHT BACK TO SCHOOL films, KING OF BEGGARS and FIST OF LEGEND are bad films too?

  3. The plot of The Four was confusing and draggy and the ending was super stupid. I only watched all three mainly to see what happened to An Shi Geng and Ji Yao Hua. I hate it that they made Wu Qing a girl. What’s going to happen with LOCH then? Yeung Hong becomes a girl and falls in love with Kwok Jing? Gordon, please keep away from my favourite Jin Yong novel. And please keep away from DGSD.

    1. ” Yeung Hong becomes a girl and falls in love with Kwok Jing?”

      Haha, most probably won’t. The ‘Four Constables’ story doesn’t have a main female character. So, they turn Wu Qing into a girl for the romance plot. LOCH already has Huang Rong. 🙂

      I’m not really interested in the actual film, but, will be curious who he will cast for the classic characters.

  4. Another remake… Seriously, learn to grow more imagination and creativity >_< stop butchering the classic again because you have no talent, run out of idea and bloody greedy!!

  5. He looks sickly in that picture.

    Hollywood has more than HP. And it’s not apple-to-apple comparison between HP and LotCH. He should aim to be the China’s version of Lord of the Rings.

  6. I think it’s absolutely wrong to make these books into short films. So much is lost.
    Like trying to make a film about all of WW2 in a 2 hour movie, it’s impossible.

    If he is going to remake it, he should make a grand production tv series that does everything better with better cinematography.
    Such a waste of money to make it a film, even if it’s a trilogy.

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