Source: Storyage Pictures


Wei Te-Sheng’s Big will open in Taiwan on December 1 as scheduled despite a warrant of seizure issued by the Taipei District Court and lodged by investor Gou Tai-Chiang over an alleged unpaid debt. 

Wei is the director of the two highest grossing local films of all time in Taiwan: musical drama Cape No.7, which grossed $16.8m (N$$534m) in 2008, and historical epic Seediq Bale Part 1: Sun Flag which garnred $14.9m (NT$473m) in 2011.

Last month, Gou, younger brother of Foxconn founder Terry Gou, obtained a warrant of seizure from the Taipei District Court to recover a payment of $1.4m (NT$45m), which is claimed to be the outstanding debt owed by Wei over the production of Seediq Bale.

Central Motion Picture Corp (CMPC), for which Gou serves as chairman, is a major stakeholder in the large-scale historical epic along with Wei’s company Ars Film Productions.

Wei has since issued a statement to deny any unpaid debt and has applied for the withdrawal of the warrant of seizure. The trial is pending.

With John Woo among the producers, Seediq Bale was released in two parts in Taiwan with the second part Seediq Bale Part 2: The Rainbow Bridge also released in 2011 and grossing $10m (NT$316m). The international cut combined the two parts into a single, shortened version and was shortlisted for the Academy Awards. 

The new film drama is a feel-good story of a group of children warriors who share the same cancer ward in the hospital, fighting against life-threatening diseases. Their families initially clash with one another but eventually find strength through mutual support. The ensemble cast features Umin Boya from Seediq Bale and reunites Van Fan and Chie Tanaka from Cape No.7, Wei’s feature debut.

Big is produced by Wei’s Storyage Pictures and executive produced by Hsu Kuo-Lun who served as a producer of Netflix’s hit series The Victims’ Game and executive producer of Goddamned Asura, Taiwan’s previous submission to the Academy Awards.

Storyage Pictures was set up by Wei in 2020. Upcoming projects include Taiwan Trilogy, an ambitious live-action production set during the Dutch colonial period. It was put on hold during the Covid pandemic but has relaunched as animated features and is in production.