TVB to Film “The Greed of Man” Movie Version

TVB re-broadcast its classic drama, The Greed of Man <大時代>, to enthusiastic reception. Aside from generating lively discussions online, the drama broke ratings records, persuading TVB executives that a film version of The Greed of Man is long overdue.

The first episode averaged 5.6 points, and peaked at 6.4 points, breaking TVB’s ten-year ratings records in its midnight broadcasting slot.

Impressed with the results, TVB is interested in producing a movie version of the classic drama. Aside from inviting Adam Cheng (鄭少秋) and Sean Lau (劉青雲) to return, TVB will add younger stars such as Grace Chan (陳凱琳) and Eliza Sam (岑麗香) to the cast.

Television and film producer Wai Kai Fai (韋家輝) was only 29 years old when he produced The Greed of Man. Wai admitted that he took a gamble in the drama’s opening episode, which featured graphic suicides of Adam Cheng’s sons. Wai said, “I employed the use of flashbacks. It was risky to depict Adam throwing his sons to their deaths from the top of the building in the first episode. I never thought that it would become such a classic [scene].”

Originally broadcast in 1992, The Greed of Man, has been aired several times, often coinciding with plunging prices in the Hong Kong stock market. Dubbed as the mysterious “Ding Hai Effect”, it was not clear whether there was indeed a correlation, but sensational tabloid headlines often point to the volatile stock prices as the result.

Since Charles Chan (陳國強) became TVB’s new Chairman in January, he announced plans to invest aggressively in the film industry. TVB’s recent films, Triumph in the Skies <衝上雲霄> and From Vegas to Macau 2 <賭城風雲II> performed strongly at the Hong Kong and Mainland box offices respectively. This year, TVB will produce a film version of Line Walker <使徒行者>, so it is not a surprise to see the station turning to classic titles such as The Greed of Man in hopes of bigger box office profits.


This article is written by Jayne for

Related Articles


  1. Please NO!  Dang it TVB, why can’t you guys leave all the classics alone?   We don’t need you guys butchering all the classic series so near and dear to our hearts by making cheap movies that are nothing more than promotional tools for your own artists.  And please don’t ‘cheapen’ A-list movie stars such as Sean Lau, Nick Cheung, etc. by having them ‘babysit’ younger artists.   I truly hope that this movie thing is merely a rumor made up by the media (which is possible because I read a few articles similar to the one above from other sources and none of them mentioned anything about a movie).   Either that or the plans fall through and the movie doesn’t end up happening…


  2. Didn’t TVB have a training school for acting or something? Why do they keep pushing those miss hong kongs who can’t even act instead of trainees? Those new series are so painful to watch since the cast are filled up with all those. I don’t mind them promoting them but at least don’t place them everywhere or at least give them more training before bigger roles.

  3. Can TVB stop ruining their own classics? Just leave the good things alone. I would rather they do a remake than make a movie version where they have to deliberately add new story to the plot when it’s not needed.

    “TVB will add younger stars such as Grace Chan (陳凱琳) and Eliza Sam (岑麗香) to the cast.”

    Is the plot going to be something like this?

    ‘After being widowed for over 20 years, Fong Chin Bok found new love again in the form Grace Chan. Meanwhile, a mysterious uprising star, Eliza, appear in the stock market circle. Fong Chin Bok found out that she’s actually the adopted daughter of Ting Hai who is planning to manipulate the stock market in a big way.’

    1. @kidd The plot you suggested actually sounds VERY plausible knowing what TVB is capable of doing.

      Agree with everyone that TVB should just leave their classics alone.

    2. @kidd Hahaha! Based on how unoriginal TVB is, that will likely be the plot…and the movie will suck!

      By the way, so far, is the only mainstream media outlet I’ve come across that has mentioned about the movie (none of the dozen or so Mingpao articles that came out today about The Greed of Man’s rebroadcast mentioned anything about a movie version). You guys should read the original article from in Chinese — the way it’s written is such a joke…they make it sound like Sean Lau is a TVB managed artist or something….and the Chinese article actually mentions Eliza being cast as the new version ‘Han Mui’ (Vivian Chow’s character) due to her being liked by audiences and her association with food (hosting food shows and such, I assume?). Oh and let me guess….Grace Chan will play the new version of Amy Kwok’s character then….

      Once again — TVB: LEAVE.THE.SERIES.ALONE.!!!!

  4. lol…. and they can have a /facepalm too.

    Soon, this midnight broadcast is going to turn into a game of “which classic will they ruin next with a movie” (if true) 🙂

    Will be hoping that the A-list at least decline so TVB has no drawing power to make this movie, with what little creativity they can churn out its pretty much guaranteed to be lacklustre riding on the name alone.

    I guess Amy Kwok’s character will just also have to magically disappear/die too offscreen.

  5. Is it the trend now that tvb’s films are being remake into movies…but this is a great film! Remember watching it when I was a kid though I didn’t know much of it but the Ting family gave me nightmares.

  6. Just as I thought… according to today’s article (in Chinese) from Mingpao, TVB has denied that a film version of The Greed of Man is in the works. TVB’s spokesperson Tsang Sing Ming said that a film version was “suggested” but they have not decided whether they will even move forward with the suggestion.

    When asked about the movie while attending Johnnie To’s birthday party today, even Sean Lau himself said that it was likely just a rumor…

  7. Was this series any good? I heard so many good reviews about it but still have not seen it yet. I recently ordered a copy by accident but am wondering should I watch it. I would love to hear what you guys think.

    1. @hetieshou The Greed of Man?  Hell yea — absolutely MUST-WATCH!!!   The script is well-written (hey, it’s Wai Ka Fai, so of course the script is good), the series is well-produced (though there are some scenes that Wai Ka Fai was forced to edit out in order to comply with broadcasting rules back then, so some parts may come across choppy), and the acting is STELLAR!!  I’ve watched the series many times and continue to love it despite not knowing a thing about all the stock / investment stuff they talk about in the series.  If you’re not keen on the story or theme, watch the series for the cast, as we’ll never see this cast combo again (for obvious reasons).  And if you have the original DVD version, definitely keep it, as it’s one of TVB’s best DVD box sets that they’ve ever released.

      1. @llwy12 To be fair, the show had very little to do about stocks. It uses it as the battlefield but aside from when he graduates from an apprentice, there was very little to do about it and the final climax where he won was anti-climatic. It was more crazy and enjoyable with the aftermath of the Ting’s then him actually winning because we’re led to believe throughout the entire series that he inherited his father’s brilliance yet he won in quite a lame manner. Maybe back then people didn’t know as much so it passed but presently, with so many into daytrading and HK being a financial hub, it’s funny to watch that as really having any real depth in terms of investment. On the contrary, it touches on the basics only and even that is debatable.

        What made it great was the acting and complex story revolving around the interactions of the families and his struggle with love. No doubt, The characters/story were memorable and the cast was stellar.

    2. @hetieshou It is a great classic! It had good acting from both the veterans (Adam Cheng, Damien Lau, Kenneth Tsang, Kong Ngai, Law Lok Lam) as well as the newbies of the time (Sean Lau, Vivian Chow, David Siu, Bowie Lam, Amy Kwok, Carol Yeung, Michael Tao).

      I agree with @ sodi that GOM had little to do with stick and investing and up til now, I still have problems understanding how it worked in the series despite watching it over 10 times.

      But the suspenseful plot and original characterization will win you over. The main character is one of the selfish ones and the main antagonist is strangely the most fascinating guy to understand and analyse. You will love and hate both, laughing and crying all the way with every twist that pops along.

      @ hetieshou By all means, watch GOM! Even if TVB manages to gather a great ensemble of start power to remake GOM, it will not be brave enough to go the extremes that the originals did with the violence and the plot will be predictable and soppy.

  8. There was an article yesterday that reunited 3 of the 4 ‘crab sons’ (Michael Tao, David Siu, Derek Kok) in an interview where they talked about their experience filming the series. Apple Daily also did a nice recap of some little known ‘behind-the-scenes’ stuff about the series, interviewing some of the artists involved with the series at that time (i.e. Michael Tao wasn’t the first choice to play Yik Hai, Vivian Chow’s ‘Han Mui’ character is based off a real person, detail on some of the scenes that were cut out of the series and why they were cut, etc.). Everyone seems to be into the Greed of Man craze right now!

    1. @llwy12 It was nice to see that the three had kept in touch, but sad that they did not take down Ng Kai Ming’s phone no.

      I think Michael’s acting would have been wasted if he was given Derek’s role, which had much less impact. Michael brought out the in-your-face sleazebag that Ding Yik Hai was, the role that was pivotal in keeping the feud between the two families going until Ding Hai came back to bring the tension to new levels.

      However, I felt sorry for Ai Wai who was supposed to have that role. He would have no doubt been an irritable Ding Yik Hai with his versatile acting, but he also was funny and enjoyable to watch in the cop role.

      I like these small BTS tidbits that come out after so many years. Maybe TVB should do a GOM reunion special instead of a movie version.

      1. @elizabeth Yup, I like these BTS tidbits as well. Another revelation: David Siu said that Mark Cheng was actually supposed to have his role, which I actually can’t imagine because David himself is a very versatile actor…I feel that David is better suited to the Hau Hai character than Mark would have been.

        I agree that they should do a reunion special, as that’s definitely more significant than some movie version (which most of the original cast already said they probably won’t participate in). As it is, the media is already doing all sorts of reunions with the various interviews with the ‘crab brothers’ as well as the rest of the cast.

      2. @llwy12 Where did you hear that Mark was supposed to take David’s role? I want to see too!!!

        I dislike Mark’s acting back in those days. He was great as the pscyho killers but I do not find him charismatic enough to take on David’s role. I actually have trouble imagining him pashing Loletta in a romantic way. Glad David got the role!

      3. @elizabeth I posted the link to the article below. It’s the “reunion” interview with David, Michael, and Derek where David himself said that Mark Cheng was originally supposed to play his role of Hau Hai and he was supposed to play Bowie Lam’s character Chan Tou Tou, but one day, he was told by either Wai Kai Fai or Tsang Kan Cheung to play Hau Hai instead. That was definitely a great decision, since David is perfect for the role of Hau Hai.

        The article also talks a bit about Ng Kai Ming as well.

      4. @llwy12 I just heard that Alex Man was supposed to be Ding Hai! It all fells so strange with the original casting now. Alex could have done well as well but geesz i wouldn’t want to within ten feet of him when he’s in character!

      5. @elizabeth Yup, I read about that too in scriptwriter Tsang Kan Cheong’s interview. I actually agree with him that Alex would not have been able to make the character as impactful as Adam. Alex is known for being fiery and OTT in his acting and to me, if he played the role, it would’ve just been the same as all his other roles…Adam brought a uniqueness to the role that even Alex wouldn’t be able to achieve.

      6. @llwy12 thanks for the link. The uniqueness of Adam’s Ding Hai is that even though he is the main antagonist, he is actually not evil. He actually cares a lot for damian and sean and family but he expresses it in a terribly wrong way. In fact, he never sets out to commit evils but ends up doing it anyway.

        I see Ding Hai as a slightly schizophrenic with some social dyslexia as he always feels victimised and cannot understand social cues from other people. He is empathatic to the Fong family in comparison to his sons and feels bad for hounding carol on the stand.

        I love the depth given to this character. I think Alex would have portrayed him to be a psycho but not as layered as Adam’s.

      7. @elizabeth in Ting hai’s mind he could not be evil because he never seen the wrong things he have to follow Ting hai’s way of doing things otherwise you are wrong,no mather what. he can never see the point of other ppl.

      8. @llwy12 yes agree with that, adam’s uniqness is that he can give you a feel of naive childishness in this character with a IQ of that from a 8 year old child.,which alex never can.

      9. @kolo that’s true. Ding Hai believes he is an upright and blameless person in his own little world. But he does know that he has gone overboard say when he punched Damian into a coma, but then he justifies his actions by blaming everyone else. I find him quite fascinating as he’simpulsive and immature but not stupid. In fact, he over analyses and comes up with his weird rationales. I find him irritating because he just won’t get the point but cannot hate him because he really does not have evil intentions.

  9. I’m watching this drama currently (till ep 3 only) but i feel that the 2 characters Adam Cheng and Damien Lau tend to overact especially Adam. Just my opinion. The drama looks very dated too. However the opening scene where Adam threw his sons to their deaths was really chilling. In reality wouldn’t his sons fight back? i mean when i first read about this part without watching the drama yet, i had thought that his sons were small children but lol, they turned out to be grown men!

    1. @chocobunny They didn’t fight back because they owed the international triads billions spent on stocks and they would be killed if they stepped out of the building. They were afraid of death yet knew there was no other way.

      I thought Damian and Adam acted just fine. Adam was supposed to be psychotic and over the top.

  10. I believe only the epic drama like TGOM which can get 5-6 points for night show can say of “stelar show”. And only people like Adam who made many epic characters can make overact, dramatic becomes acting. Any other is just junior, shouldnt be mentioned when saying of acting. Kinda funny to see TGOM topped the viewership on myTV, much higher than rrcent series. It tells that the recent series cant compete with the old ones.


    1. @alluka I agree! I actually read an article the other day that talked about how the “after 80s” and “after 90s” crowd are treating TGOM like a brand new series that they are chasing even more than today’s series, since most didn’t know about TGOM due to being too young. Those of us from the older generation who were around during TVB’s golden years are re-watching the series and re-living the nostalgia and great memories of the series.

      I normally don’t like Adam Cheng’s acting too much, but in TGOM, he was definitely excellent — his crazy Ting Hai character is such a classic and definitely the most defining, breakthrough role of his career. And Damian — he was awesome as well….all his scenes after his character comes out of the coma up until his death still make me cry each time I watch….

      1. @llwy12 It’s like the host said when he was doing the interview with the cast from The Menu. Hongkongers still love their dramas and if something is worthy of support locally then of course they would love to follow it, it makes quite a difference in enjoyability for a lot of people if you have to watch with subs or dubbed.

        But since TVB barely has a level of creativity above what China is churning out, then naturally they would flock to Korean, Japanese and American dramas. The amount of imagination, creativity and execution of their series sets world standards on what good series should be like. China can’t do that because the government censorship but Hong Kong is different, it’s a shame TVB decided to practice self-censorship on itself but since their aim is mainland for more $ then chances are it will look like more rehash of tired themes are on the way. Perhaps they don’t think there’s much of a future anyway for HK so they’re looking 10 to 20 years down the line since the government doesn’t seem to care either. But the projection of soft power does work though and money makes its way back into your economy through other sectors as Korea and Japan have proven by exporting their cultures through media.

      2. @sodi Yup…in a way though, it’s kind of sad, especially for people like me who grew up during the HK entertainment industry’s “golden era”. When I see what TVB was capable of producing back in the 70s/80s/90s and how far gone all that is now, I can’t help feeling a bit pained at what we lost. In recent years, I keep hearing people “complain” about us being so overly nostalgic about the “good ole days” of TVB and what is the big deal anyways….well, it’s hard to explain to people who didn’t live through it or experience it first hand. Hopefully, with the re-broadcast of The Greed of Man and all the recent nostalgia that has come out of it, people will start to have a better understanding of why we hold these classics so dear to our hearts!

  11. Anyone, everyone, someone!!

    Just saw a new Felix Wong series trailer on TV, problem is I didn’t catch the Eng name. Anyone aware of a new Felix Wong series debuting?? The title?

      1. @funnlim Definitely Beyond the Rainbow, as that’s the series HKTV has scheduled to air after the horror series Karma. I’m actually looking forward to Beyond the Rainbow, as it boasts a fine cast and I can’t wait to watch everyone battle acting chops (plus it’s been awhile since I’ve seen Felix Wong in anything, so definitely looking forward to that).

  12. I remember this series. When I first watched it, I enjoyed it but frankly at that time I didn’t think it too highly. Still don’t. The whole throwing sons off the building is OTT as much as I believe the sisters were thrown off as well?

    So long ago. For me the true classic is Looking Back In Anger.

    And I hated the ending for Greed of Man for that ambiguity again.

    1. @funnlim,i dont think is ott. i can understand why adam threw his sons from the building,if you know Ting hai’s character and in what a terrible situation they are in that moment, then you will understand it. yes another classic is looking back in anger,but dont you think that deric wan in the serie who killed his mother not ott?

      1. @kolo Not ott at all. He hated her anyway and she is not his mother. He resented her.

        Ding hai’s situation was insane. He threw them off the building. Adult men. Looking back in anger was more elegant.

      2. @funnlim In Ding Hai’s mind, he was giving his sons a dignified suicide instead of being mutilated by the mafia. see it as a warped version of Emperor Chongzhen of Ming killing his concubines and daughters so they would be not raped by the Manchurians when the forbidden city fell.

        Ding Hai is stuck in his own little world where he’s the hero and everyone is out to get him. Its ironic that he threw three of them off the building, watched his eldest jump down by himself but then he chickened out at the last minute. At last he was brought to reality that he was a hypocritical coward.

      1. @elizabeth Yes, The Final Verdict is excellent (another Wai Kar Fai production by the way!) The series is very dark though so may not be suited for everyone — but that is definitely another classic that is well-worth watching. The cast was excellent, the script was excellent, the acting was excellent (Kenneth Tsang was amazing in that series — I remember watching the series for the first time when I was little and he scared the living daylights out of me, especially his crazy “murder spree” scene)….

        @funnlim: I agree with you about Looking Back in Anger (which was also produced by Wai Kar Fai) — that’s one of the best series that ever came out of TVB and to this day, it is still such a great classic!

        I love Wai Kar Fai’s productions — his series are always so meaningful and thought-provoking…plus he’s one of the few producers who dares to “push the envelope” and challenge convention in a conservative HK television industry. He’s my favorite TVB scriptwriter and producer…definitely miss watching his quality series from the 80s and early 90s (especially given all the crappy series that have come out of TVB the past 15 years or so).

Comments are closed.