Every Chinese director should attempt an adaptation of Master Louis Cha’s works at least once, said director Pang Ho Cheung.
During the Berlin Film Festival, Hong Kong director Pang Ho Cheung (彭浩翔) revealed that he would be producing and directing a feature film trilogy of The Deer and the Cauldron <鹿鼎记>. On February 21, Pang confirmed that actress Zhou Xun (周迅), whom he previously worked with, will be cast in the film.
Big Budget Remake
Celebrating the successful run of his festive Lunar New Year movie Missbehavior <恭喜八婆> in Taiwan, Pang shared that he is in the pre-production stage of The Deer and the Cauldron, a film adaptation based on the renowned novel by Louis Cha, better known as Jin Yong (金庸). The three installments will be shot together with individual release dates. Each film will have a 60 to 80 million USD budget. Known for his comedies such as 2010’s Love in a Puff <志明與春嬌> starring Miriam Yeung (杨千嬅) and Shawn Yue (余文樂), Deer will be the director’s first period production.
According to Pang’s Facebook post, he had been working on the long process of adaptation since a few years ago. Exploring different possibilities and making adjustments along the way, the work involves recreating the characters and set, as well as moving the story to the big screen. He wrote, “Today, the journey is finally about to begin; it’s a pity that Master Jin Yong is no longer with us.”
Jin Yong passed away in 2018. One of the novelist’s key works, Deer is also the final work in his oeuvre, with the intriguing characters and plot of the novel being more intricately linked with everyday life than his other works. It will be a story “created by Jin Yong which at the same time belongs to our era,” wrote Pang.
Zhou Xun to Play Empress?
Confirming Zhou Xun’s involvement in the film, Pang added they will not be revealing her role yet. Casting for other roles are also yet to be confirmed.
Expressing confidence in the film, Pang proclaimed that The Deer and the Cauldron is the best script he has written yet, and promises it is “better than my previous movies”. Many netizens commented that Zhou Xun is well-suited to play the role of Empress, instead of one of Wei Xiaobao’s seven wives. The actress herself has yet to respond to the news.
Production for the trilogy will begin in the middle of this year and the first film set for release in 2021.
This article is written by JoyceK for JayneStars.com.