Director Ronny Yu (于仁泰) is not tired of seeing his seven Yang brothers and he hopes to reunite them again in a future action film.
Pegasus Motion Picture’s big blockbuster war epic, Saving General Yang <忠烈楊家將>, held a press conference/ premiere in Beijing on the afternoon of March 26. All seven male leads – “Dalang” Ekin Cheng (鄭伊健), “Erlang” Yu Bo (于波), “Sanlang” Vic Chou (周渝民), “Silang” Li Chen (李晨), “Wulang” Raymond Lam (林峯), “Liulang” Wu Chun (吳尊), and “Qilang” Fu Xinbo (付辛博), were all in attendance. The seven Yang brothers’ mother She Taijun, portrayed by acclaimed mainland Chinese actress Xu Fan (徐帆), also graced the press conference along with director Ronny Yu.
The film, which is set to hit in theaters worldwide on April 4, is a retelling of the traditional Chinese folklore Generals of the Yang Family <楊家將>, a story about the militant Yang clan and their unflinching loyalty to their family and to their country. The film will depict the final years of the seven Yang brothers and their journey to save their father, Yang Linggong (Adam Cheng).
Xu Fan is the Heart of the Movie
Although a male-dominated film, Ronny Yu assured that the female characters in the action epic are all relevant and significant to the story. Xu Fan’s She Taijun is especially, according to Ronny Yu, the heart of it all. “Without her, this film would not have been made,” said Ronny.
The director revealed that Xu Fan was actually the first to be cast in the action epic. “Three years ago, I told [producer] Raymond Wong (黃百鳴) that we must invite Xu Fan. If there is Xu Fan, then we will be able to cast the rest of the actors.”
Xu Fan recalled that her first meeting with Ronny Yu was “not very long, but we chatted for over an hour.” On the actress’ first day on set, Xu Fan’s chemistry with the director clicked immediately, and she felt as if she and Ronny had been very long friends.
Ronny praised, “[Xu Fan] is experienced, professional, and very familiar with the script. Filming Xu Fan is like watching an actual movie.”
A “Modern” Retelling
At the press conference, a new poster for Saving General Yang was unveiled, featuring the seven Yang brothers sporting modern hairstyles but wearing traditional armor, giving off a feeling of stylish avant-garde.
The director stressed that although the film itself is a period drama, he wanted to approach the source material with a modernized retelling. “This is the reason why I wanted all my main stars to be young handsome men. I’ve watched a lot of historical war epics. Now, I think it’s time for the audience to experience a different kind of epic.”
Ronny also revealed that he plans to shoot a big-budget “spiritual sequel” of Saving General Yang. He is currently preparing a modern action film that is “similar to Ocean’s Eleven. It will also feature a group of handsome men, battling out their wits. We plan to go on various jaw-dropping overseas locations to shoot the movie. I really hope that the seven brothers will come together again to film it.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.