Film producer Terence Chang (張家振) this week revealed plans to remake 1990s classic Once a Thief <縱橫四海>, and is eyeing Huang Xiaoming (黃曉明), Michelle Chen (陳妍希), and South Korean star Kim Soo Hyun (金秀賢) to take on the film’s lead roles.
Once a Thief, from famous director John Woo (吳宇森), was a box office success when it was released in 1991. The original tale starred Chow Yun Fat (周潤發), Cherie Chung (鍾楚紅), and Leslie Cheung (張國榮) as three orphans who were raised by a crime boss to become highly skilled art thieves. The three were on a mission in Paris when they were tipped off about the location of a valuable painting. The crime boss assists the group with retrieving the artwork, though afterwards betrayed them by secretly sending assassins to take their lives. The three became separated during the chase and did not meet again until three years later. The crime boss once again asks for their help, but this time the three are determined to bring him to justice.
Producer Chang confirmed on April 1 that he is currently negotiating film rights for the remake and has plans to begin filming in early 2015. He has already secured French investors, making this a joint production between China and France. However, he also cites this as a reason for a completely new script. “Most of the film will be shot in France, but the story will be completely different from the original. Since it is a co-production, the old story may touch a sensitive nerve and may not pass Mainland’s censorship standards, so there will be major changes to the plot.”
Chang is looking to cast Huang Xiaoming in Chow Yun Fat’s role. Popular South Korean actor Kim Soo Hyun, of You Who Came From The Stars <來自星星的你> fame, is being considered to play Leslie Cheung’s character. Although Soo Hyun’s participation would certainly generate noise for the film, Chang is not sure whether he will sign on since the actor is due to report to his compulsory military service next summer.
Michelle Chen is currently in the running for Cherie Chung’s role, and producer Chang has nothing but praises for the Taiwanese actress. “I think Michelle really looks like Cherie. I feel that Michelle is an actress with great potential. It’s just that she hasn’t found the right script after You Are the Apple of My Eye <那些年，我們一起追的女孩>.”
This article is written by Katrine for JayneStars.com.