Francis Ng Causes TVB Headaches; “Triumph in the Skies 2” Delayed Until September 2012
TVB drama, Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄2>, appeared to be jinxed from the start. For the last several months, TVB struggled in negotiating with Francis Ng (吳鎮宇) and Chilam Cheung (張智霖) to film the sequel. Producer Tommy Leung (梁家樹) was dissatisfied with the current script, which was constantly revised due to casting changes. Francis has agreed to film the project, but set his terms firmly. He requested to film another movie project first, delaying Triumph in the Skies 2’s production date to September 2012!
Released in 2003, the original Triumph in the Skies was a ratings bonanza, peaking at 37 points. Due to the new competitive market in the Hong Kong television broadcast industry, Triumph in the Skies 2 served as a critical mega project for TVB. The company went to extensive lengths to accommodate Francis Ng, “the soul” of Triumph in the Skies 2, paying more than $80,000 HKD per episode. TVB even adjusted their production date from June to September, allowing Francis to first shoot mafia thriller movie, Du Yuesheng <杜月笙>, with Chow Yun Fat (周潤發).
TVB Moves Heaven and Earth for Francis Ng
An insider at TVB grumbled that such scheduling changes caused the company much headache, “TVB is willing to accommodate Francis Ng at all costs, making him arrogant! At first he said he did not wish to film the sequel. When Francis realized he can find a pretty spot, he changed his mind. When he got one wish, he asked for another, requesting the entire cast and crew to accommodate him! TVB agreed to all of Francis’ terms. Since the production start date is now delayed, this puts Chilam Cheung in a tough position!”
Myolie Wu (胡杏兒), was delighted to be able to partner with Francis Ng again in Triumph in the Skies 2 and did not mind the filming delay. “He is a HKFA Best Actor; I am just afraid he will not film the drama!”
Perhaps due to the sudden delay in production date, Fala Chen (陳法拉) and Kenneth Ma (馬國明) apparently were not informed of the change yet. Fala said, “All along, they said we will film in May. I don’t know! Is it real or fake news?” Kenneth asked, “Why did this happen? Well, the production schedule for dramas often have adjustments to accommodate everyone. I am already happy to participate in a heavyweight drama. It’s not a problem to accommodate the change!”
Producer Tommy Leung admitted that the filming start date was adjusted to accommodate Francis Ng. “We mutually accommodate each other on the production date. Please don’t make it sound so negative by saying the entire world is accommodating Francis only!”
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Jayne: It may be possible that the production date will move from September until end of the year. TVB seems to be in a state of chaos right now. Triumph in the Skies 2 plagued by so many production delays; will the drama be jinxed?
Fala Chen now has no drama on hand until Triumph in the Skies 2, so she can take on a new project.