Three generations of martial artists have joined forces forWilson Yip's upcoming action drama SPL (working title), which is nearingthe end of a four-month shoot in Hong Kong.
Produced by Carl Chang with backing from Abba Chan's AbbaMovies, the US$3.8m (HK$30m) film stars martial arts veteran Sammo Hung alongwith Donnie Yen and upcoming star and wushu champion Wu Jing. Simon Yam, whosecredits include Tomb Raider II and Johnnie To's PTU, also has alead role in the film.
Described by Chang as a dark action drama, the film revolvesaround the psychological battle between a ruthless mafia boss (Hung), who haskilled off the family of a police witness, and a cop (Yam) who has taken itupon himself to raise the one surviving family member. The English workingtitle, SPL, is derived from the initials of three renegade stars inChinese astrology which take on good or evil characteristics depending on theirposition in the heavens.
According to Chang, the film will be heavy on both actionsequences and drama. "We've recently had some successful films that were strongon drama but didn't contain much action, while the old style kung-fu films hadall the moves but were weak on drama," Chang explains. "With this film, we hopeto combine both elements."
Yen, whose credits as actor or action director include Hero,Shanghai Knights and Hong Kong blockbuster The Twins Effect, is overseeing the action sequences. Other behind-the-camera talent includes DoP LamWah Chuen, who has worked on several Fruit Chan movies, and Infernal Affairscomposer Chan Kwong Wing.
At present, no international sales agent is attached to thefilm but Chang is talking to interested parties and taking a promo reel to theupcoming autumn markets.
Meanwhile, Chang is in the process of setting up a new HongKong-based production and artist management outfit, See Corporation, withbacking from Hong Kong and overseas investors. The company already has severalprojects in development including a period martial arts movie to be directed byLee Chi-Ngai.