Film Workshop's Tsui Hark is lining up two US$3.9m (HK$ 30m) Chinese-language dramas to be directed by Tsui himself later this year and early next year.
The first is titled Initial D, adapted from a hit Japanese comic book of the same name, which tells the story of a delivery boy with a prowess for street racing. Tsui is working on the script with Cheung Chi Sing (Fighter's Blues)
Location scouting is underway, but Tsui says that the film will probably be set in China as well as in Japan because of some snow scenes. Produced by Media Asia, the Cantonese film is scheduled to shoot in late October. All parts are in the final stages of casting with Edison Chen attached to play one of the lead roles.
Also in the running to shoot is the Mandarin language Seven Swords Of Mount Tian, adapted from the martial arts novel by Liang Yusheng and also a successful TV series in China. Set in the early Qing dynasty, the film traces the seven swordsmen's mission to rescue pro-Ming dynasty rebels who are being exterminated by Qing forces.
Tony Leung Ka-Fai is attached to play one of the swordsmen with Charlie Yeung Choi-Nei playing a female lead.
Unlike his previous works Legend Of Zu which relies heavily on CG effects, he says that the martial arts sequences in Mount Tian will be very real. 'It will be good if the actors for the leading swordsmen's roles have martial arts background,' he adds.
Mount Tian is planned for a February shoot in China's scenic Hangzhou and aims for a summer opening. Both Cheung and Tsui are now scripting the film.
This may be just the first of a series of the film version of Mount Tian. 'The novel's materials are enough for four to five feature films,' says Tsui.
If everything goes according to plan, Tsui will continue with the series. But he has not ruled out the possibility of letting someone else direct the future series.