TVB’s Head of Drama Production, Tommy Leung, Retires Due to Company Politics?
Head of TVB’s Drama Production division, Tommy Leung (梁家樹), has announced his retirement. On February 28, 2014, TVB organized a farewell dinner for Tommy Leung at TVB’s cafeteria. Over 200 artists attended the banquet, including Liza Wang (汪明荃), and former managed stars Michael Tse (謝天華), and Jessica Hsuan (宣萱).
Tommy Leung, who served TVB for 37 years, has produced many recent TVB classics, including Triumph in the Skies <衝上雲霄>, Lives of Omission <潛行狙擊>, Ghetto Justice <怒火街頭>, and Inbound Troubles <老表，你好嘢！>. Though retiring from producing TVB dramas, reports say that Tommy Leung is interested in the mainland Chinese market and will be working as a senior consultant for Shaw Brothers Studio.
Currently, Tommy Leung is helming the production for the movie version of Triumph in the Skies, which will begin filming in April 2014. With a production budget of over $100 million HKD, the film will star Francis Ng (吳鎮宇), Chilam Cheung (張智霖), and Louis Koo (古天樂). A female lead has not been decided yet, but Tommy Leung hinted that he intends to cast a mainland Chinese actress so the film can have more international appeal.
Tommy Leung to Establish Own Production Company
A source revealed that Tommy Leung is in the midst of establishing his own production company, and plans to sign Michael Miu ( 苗僑偉), Francis Ng, Michael Tse, and Jessica Hsuan under his wing. “He is tired of TVB politics,” the source claimed, implying that the power struggle among TVB’s high executives stressed him. “After producing the Triumph in the Skies film project he will retire from the scene completely.”
The source continued to say that it is highly likely that Jessica Hsuan, Francis Ng, Michael Miu, and Michael Tse will sign with Tommy Leung. Reports argued that Tommy Leung was the reason why Francis Ng agreed to film Triumph in the Skies 2 in 2013, and when Tommy Leung proposed to him about his plans of a new production studio, Francis immediately agreed to help out. Michael Miu and Jessica Hsuan have both developed a close relationship with Tommy Leung over the years and are likely to follow in Francis’ footsteps. Michael Tse also immediately agreed to lend a hand, as it was Tommy Leung who had advocated in promoting him as Laughing Gor, the role that shot Michael Tse to unprecedented fame.
After Tommy Leung has resigned from TVB, the station is left with executive manager Virginia Lok (樂易玲), Catherine Tsang (曾勵珍), and Sandy Yu (余詠珊) to hold the fort. After Sand Yu joined TVB’s executive team in 2011 as TVB’s Director of Non-drama Production, Virginia Lok’s influence on TVB productions began to wane, and there were reports saying that Virginia Lok would soon be transferred to TVB’s mainland China branch. Although these reports were later claimed to be false,Virginia Lok only managed to stay because she was able to convince Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) to return to TVB to shoot The Apostle <使徒行者>.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.