Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) has unveiled a new slate of productions, headed by Derek Yee’s period mystery The Great Magician starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai.
The $15m film revolves around a master illusionist in the early 1900s who uses magic tricks to save his country and win back the woman he loves. It marks the third collaboration between Leung and Yee, and the first in more than 20 years, following The Lunatics in 1986 and The People’s Hero in 1988. Currently in production, the film is co-produced by EMP and China’s Bona Film Group.
EMP is also producing Dante Lam’s action thriller The Viral Factor, about a super virus that threatens the world. Currently in pre-production, the film is gearing up for an international shoot in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Jordan. Jay Chou, Nicholas Tse and Andy On head the cast.
Also on EMP’s slate is Lu Chuan’s previously announced The Last Supper, a co-production with Beijing-based Stellar Group, starring Liu Ye, Chang Chen and Daniel Wu. The film follows the political intrigues which culminated in the legendary Hongmen Banquet prior to the Han Dynasty.
EMP is also producing two contemporary dramas – Heiward Mak’s Diva, about two young female singers striving for fame, and romantic comedy Mr & Mrs Single, directed by Patrick Kong, starring Eason Chan, Harlem Yu and Rene Liu.
“We’re excited about the diversity that our present line-up offers from modern-day romantic comedies to international thrillers and period mysteries,” said EMP CEO Albert Lee. “Naturally we’ll be looking to add to these when we come across other projects with potential as the year goes on.”
EMP scored a huge hit at the end last year with Jiang Wen’s Let The Bullets Fly which is China’s biggest-ever local film.