Afraid of Francis Ng Overshadowing Him, Chilam Cheung Rejects “Triumph in the Skies 2”

Since its broadcast in 2003, Triumph in the Skies <衝上雲霄> remained a memorable series. Aside from the stylish pilot, Francis Ng (吳鎮宇), the series also featured S4 pilot trainees: Ron Ng (吳卓羲), Sammul Chan (陳鍵鋒), Bosco Wong (黃宗澤), and Kenneth Ma (馬國明). Eight years later, a sequel will finally be filmed with great anticipation!

In an earlier sales presentation clip that was filmed for Triumph in the Skies 2, Chilam Cheung (張智霖) was featured in a significant role, while it was implied that Francis Ng  will portray a cameo role. Originally, Chilam will film Triumph in the Skies 2 as part of an arrangement to repay his “debts” with TVB. Francis Ng also made ​​it clear that he will allot space in his schedule to film the sequel, but will not consider a guest role.

Suddenly, last month, Chilam changed his mind, “It is impossible to always fawn over TVB.” Making it clear that he will be rejecting the sequel, it was understood that Chilam officially turned down Triumph in the Skies 2. The reason was that Francis Ng finally agreed to film the sequel. Afraid that Francis will overshadow him in the series, Chilam preferred not to earn the $80,000 HKD per episode filming fee that he was offered for the series!

It was stated that Triumph in the Skies 2 will begin shooting in May 2012. Prior to filming, the series was already plagued by a large number of rumors.  Initially it was rumored that Francis Ng was afraid of being bogged by TVB’s filming contract and the little money involved, thus decided to turn down the offer. Subsequently, there were rumors that Chilam Cheung will film the sequel for $80,000 HKD per episode while thinking that Francis would disappear. On December 19th, at the film premiere of Laughing Gor: Turning Point 2 <Laughing Gor之潛罪犯>, Francis indicated that he will set aside time to film Triumph in the Skies 2. Finally, afraid that Francis would overshadow him in the series, Chilam claimed that he “had no space in his schedule” and refused the filming project. Two middle-aged men struggled back and forth over the series!

At a promotional event on December 24th, reporters asked Chilam questions about Triumph in the Skies 2. Immediately, Chilam wrinkled his forehead and was uncertain whether he will be filming the series. “I am very good friends with Francis Ng and we do not have any issues. We originally had a chance to collaborate in the first installment of Triumph in the Skies. However, due to scheduling conflicts, I could not participate. Currently, I am still in discussion with TVB and there has not been a final decision yet. I have to wait for my company to make the arrangements.” Chilam added that  he was wearing sunglasses because he had injured his right eye while playing with his nephew. His assistant quickly pushed him away to avoid answering further questions.  

Kenneth Ma Will Be in “Triumph in the Skies 2” 

Although the sales presentation clip did not feature Kenneth Ma, he indicated that he will begin filming in May 2012. Kenneth said, “Since I already filmed sales presentation clips for several other series, I did not participate in the one for Triumph in the Skies 2. However, we have already discussed the preliminary arrangements and I have left room to film in May. I do not know whether there will be a brand new story or a continuation from the first installment. I hope that many members of the original cast can return.”

Asked whether Chilam Cheung and Francis Ng will be in Triumph in the Skies 2, Kenneth said, “Initially, I was informed that both men will participate in the series. Supervoice will portray pilot trainees. (Will there be sponsors this time?) “It is understood that from preliminary notice, the sponsor will not be Cathay Pacific, but we do not know who the sponsor will be.” Allegedly, Hong Kong Airlines has finalized sponsorship of the series.

TVB’s Director of Productions, Tommy Leung (梁家樹), indicated, “Triumph in the Skies 2 will film in May or June 2012. It is still in the early stages of production. There are many artists in the series and it is difficult to accommodate everyone’s schedules.” (Will the cast be the same as featured in the sales presentation?) “A portion of it!” (Chilam Cheung will not be in Triumph in the Skies 2?) “I do not know yet! We are still discussing his availability.” (Francis Ng is critical; you will not give him up?) “Of course not! We do not wish to give him up.” (Francis said he will film for the series!) “Yes, for the time being, that is how it is!” (Francis’ role will be increased from a guest star to lead cast?) “Haha! Anything is possible! We are still discussing with the artists! The most important thing is the script first. We considered revolving the story around first installment’s plot. However, there were protests. Thus, we have to fix the script first before the characters are finalized. When the script is finished, I hope to have more surprising cameos. Some stars wish to act for fun, so they can have guest starring roles. In the first installment, we had Eason Chan (陳奕迅) and Twins.”


Excerpt from Face Magazine

Jayne: The story was weak as shown in the sales presentation clip. Without a clear script, it is understandable that Francis Ng and Chilam Cheung do not wish to officially commit themselves yet. Money is of course another issue.

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  1. I think this is nonsense. Everyone knows Francis Ng is a much better actor than Chilam, even if a 30 seconds guest appearance will be enough to overshadow Chilam. I think it is the non existing script probably. Why don’t they just remake Airport HK style??

  2. I agree, with an unclear storyline/no clear script – this sequel could be a let down. I remember watching Triumph in the Skies and I loved the story and plot. It can’t really be a “sequel” without many of the original cast.
    The sales presentation clip for the drama did not immediately ‘hit’ me into a ‘must watch’ for the coming year. Nevertheless, I look forward to the end product as I have faith that TVB will sort it all out in time for another high rating drama.
    (I’m sad that Samuel and Michelle Yip won’t be in it though…)

    1. Well actually I disagree with you. In the 1st movie I don’t actually like the Francis and Myolie and Flora. It was so boring especially when they were filming in Italy between Flora and Francis.

      I love seeing Flora and Joe Ma better but unfortunately it’s too short. Joe acting was far better than Francis but unfortunately he got a supporting role.

      I cried on the scene when Joe became a Captain and he decided to separate from Flora since he found out Flora still have feeling for Francis. So sad when Flora stood and see Joe sat on the cockpit and slowly pulled out the gate….I loved that scene…

      I love the 4 young pilots (Kenneth, Sammuel, Ron, and Michelle).

    1. Well, the T.I.T.S.2 part is really bloated with one or two lines with the lame kiss scene.

      I’ll say it again. TVB is wasting their time and budget to film this “sequel”!

  3. Hehe, so MM turned down the China series for TITS2. I rmb lol (if I rmb wrongly, please forgive me) said that the China series is a wisdom choice of him. Then now, MM is with TITS2, do you think it’s a wisdom or bad choice?

    Some stars wish to act for fun, so they can have guest starring roles.

    Curious of this than the main cast. Tommy’s friend card is very good. Look at Toby’s wedding, even star-stunned more than TVB anni and award :P.

    1. We don’t really know if he turned it down or there’s a readjustment of the schedule, I think TITS2 was supposed to start filming in april, but now it’s starting in may. After Prominent Family, Ma Ming has no series lined up i think, so he may do Prominent family > China series > TITS2.

  4. I thought Chilam is waiting for the script to be out until he accepts it?

  5. I’m glad Kenneth joins the cast eventhough his role in the first part wasn’t that big.

    I hope this part 2, Kenneth will have a bigger role. Is Nancy in this sequel?

  6. @ Jayne

    LOL, there was NO story in the sales presentation clip. For such a “grand production” TVB look like they have made zero prep work!

    Obviously Francis is a much bigger star than Chilam but I honestly don’t think he’s enough to carry the show if they still want to make a big hoopla about the sequel. Best case scenario is getting them both and giving the audience some fresh pairings.

    But fixing the script is definitely the no. 1 priority right now! I’m still baffled by how they managed to sign sponsors (if they really have finalised) with such a weak sales clip.

  7. Aww Chilam… Of course we all know Francis is a better actor but If I were Chilam I won’t mind. But I guess money is a big part of this as well. Yay Kenneth is going to be in this! Super excited. I wonder what role he will take. Hopefully not an evil one 🙂 Also the Sales Presentation didn’t have a clear story plot. I can see Myolie and Raymond’s story come alive, Chilam and Fala’s as well. As for Ron, Rebecca ,Bosco and Kate eh just another relationship script … Even though I do support these 4 though I would like a better script not just relationships .

  8. If Francis is really going to film this series, will they pair Myolie with Francis instead of Raymond?

  9. I thought both Chilam & Francis are in the same league? I adore both of them and it’ll be great if they are in the same series, any series.

    are there issues between Francis & Chilam before? why is the news making a big deal about this? I dont think any of them will outshine the other.

  10. I am actually glad if Chilam decline this series, I think squeals should have their original stars. Too bad Sam won’t be in here .

  11. the main reason i liked the first one was becuz of S4. Basically, i feel having them all together is enough to lead the series + some newbies. Francis & Chi Lam aren’t really necessary. All they need is a decent storyline. I really want some KenNancy!

    1. BBfreak,
      S4 did have amazing chemistry. I liked Michelle Ye and Myolie’s friendship with the S4 guys too.

      I thought Francis and Belle had a memorable love story about predestined love (featuring the cute Triangel) in the early episodes.

      The scenery in Rome, Florence, and Australia were lovely as well.

      Maybe this time they can travel to Paris and add more romance to the story. Glamorized, romanticized travelogue….

  12. Triumph is still one of my favourite TVB series. I hope they repeat the casting formula for the sequel (the excellent Francis Ng with the not-yet-famous S4, Michelle Ye and Myolie Wu). I’d prefer if the current siu sangs and fa dans stay out of this one and TVB can give the opportunity to some younger actors with less screen baggage (as they did back then).

  13. Looks like Francis Ng is back to film TVB again, HK$80,000 per episode contract.

    1. Didn’t he refuse already? Due to too many news of his refusal so he accepts it again? But according to a person who met Chilam recently, he said he wouldn’t as he’ll do something else in China during this period.

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