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Emperor fights fire with Derek Kwok, Nicolas Tse

Hong Kong-based Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) is launching a big-budget fire-fighting drama at Filmart, to be directed by hot up-and-coming filmmaker Derek Kwok with Nicholas Tse heading the cast.

The as-yet-untitled project is scheduled to start shooting in the third quarter of this year for release in 2013. Tse, who is famous for performing his own stunts, will play a firefighter in a series of dramatic set pieces. Kwok, who has spent half a year researching the story, previously co-directed martial arts parody Gallants, which won best director at the Hong Kong Film Awards. 

Hong Kong’s Universe Films is also planning a disaster film about fire-fighting, a subject that hasn’t been tackled in Hong Kong cinema since Johnnie To’s Lifeline in 1997.

EMP is also launching sales on The Bullet Vanishes, a suspense thriller directed by Law Chi-leung and produced by Derek Yee, which also stars Tse along with Lau Ching Wan. Produced by China’s Le Vision Pictures, film revolves around a series of mysterious murders in China’s largest armory during the Republic era. The film is currently in post-production.

EMP, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, is also selling new projects from Huang Lei, son of veteran Chinese filmmaker Huang Jianxin, and up-and-coming filmmaker Daniel Chan.

Huang Lei is making his directing debut on drama Angry Kid, on which his father serves as producer. Currently in production, Chan’s gangster pic Triad, produced by Ng Kin Hung, stars singer-turned-actor William Chan, Michelle Wai, Irene Wan, Derek Tsang, Patrick Tam and Edward Chui.

EMP is also selling Heiward Mak’s Diva, starring Joey Yung and produced by Chapman To, which is tentatively scheduled for a summer release. The company is also handling Asian territories on Lu Chuan’s The Last Supper, which is currently in post-production. Wild Bunch is handling sales outside Asia.

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