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Details on Leung’s part are being kept under wraps. The actor came to international prominence after his performance in Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000), for which he won the Cannes Film Festival’s best actor award. He also starred in Ang Lee’s Venice Golden Lion winner Lust, Caution.
Monster Hunt 2 is the sequel to Hui’s 2015 breakout blockbuster, which earned a historic 2.43 billion yuan ($352 million at current exchange rates) at the Chinese box office. It remains the second biggest Chinese-language film ever behind Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid.
The sequel began shooting this fall in Beijing. The original’s young stars, Bai Baihe and Jing Boran, have both returned. Other new cast include Chinese pop star-turned-actress Li Yuchun (Bodyguards and Assassins) and Taiwanese actor Yo Yang (Cold War 2).
The franchise’s story takes place in an ancient Chinese world, where humans and monsters exist side by side. The sequel is again backed by Bill Kong’s Edko Films and other mainland Chinese partners. The producers are targeting a 2018 release, and a third picture is being planned.