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Jackie Chan made a rare public appearance in Hong Kong on Tuesday, taking center stage and amping up the star wattage at the Filmart market when he joined local heartthrob Nicholas Tse in front of a hall packed by hundreds as the pair helped local giant Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) launch its 2023 slate.
EMP used the platform, and the presence of so many people gathered, to officially launch Chan’s latest production, New Police Story 2, in which he takes a leading role, while also producing. The film, which promises to pretty much deliver what’s on its label, also marks the directorial debut of Tse, the genre-jumping popstar turned filmmaker who emerged with a string of hits across both mediums in the early 2000s.
EMP was behind Chan’s New Police Story, which also helped Tse to stardom when it was released in 2004 and itself was a reboot of the Police Story franchise he made under the Golden Harvest banner back in the 1980s.
Chan said he couldn’t resist revisiting a franchise that helped turn the martial arts hero into a global box office phenomenon. The 68-year-old has often claimed the original film contained the best action scenes he has ever shot across his long and storied career.
“I put a lot and a lot of effort in this movie [Police Story] back then, and it was a series loved by global fans,” said Chan. “But most importantly, Nicholas Tse is the director this time. This attracted me to the project.”
Interestingly, Chan, who has had an often-fractious relationship with local, predominantly Cantonese, audiences in recent times, chose to deliver his statement in Mandarin.
The press event featured a “who’s who” of the famed Hong Kong studio’s local talent and the record set for the day for the most people up on stage was the impressive 16 who gathered to launch the Herman Yau-directed thriller Customs Frontline — currently in postproduction and also starring Tse and following a group of customs officers and their battles against smugglers and terrorists. By the time Chan took to the stage, there were people outside the hall taking photos of the people taking photos inside it.
Apart from the Chan-Tse show, the most fanfare surrounded the launch of the Felix Chong-directed The Goldfinger. Marvel Cinematic Universe bad guy Tony Leung (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) shared the stage with another local favorite in Andy Lau as the film reunites the pair for the first time since the Infernal Affairs trilogy of the early 2000s, the films that inspired Martin Scorsese’s Oscar winner The Departed (2006).
Leung looks to be further exploring his dark side in The Goldfinger, playing a flamboyant and corrupt businessman in the sights of an investigator, played by Lau. The film is down for release later in 2023.
“I find playing this role to be incredibly refreshing,” said Leung. “It’s not often that I have the opportunity to portray such a character so I found it really fun because I get to play an ordinary person who has received high education who, due to various circumstances, gradually becomes the mastermind behind the biggest fraud of the century. Just talking about this is fascinating, and I’m sure the audience will find it interesting, too.”
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