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HONG KONG — Emperor Motion Pictures reunites award-winning star Tony Leung Chiu-wai with director Derek Yee in the studio’s US$15 million period mystery The Great Magician, which headlines the studio’s five-picture 2011 lineup at Filmart.
In the film, now in production, Leung (Lust, Caution) plays a master illusionist in the 1900s who gets the girl and saves his country with his magic tricks. Co-produced with Bona Film Group, the mystery is Leung and Yee’s third collaboration and follows the partnership forged between Emperor, Bona and Yee since the director’s previous effort Triple Tap. Leung and Yee worked together for the first time in The Lunaticin 1986. Two years later, Leung won the best supporting actor award at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his performance in the Yee-directed The People’s Hero. The Great Magician also stars Zhou Xun (The Message) and Lau Ching-Wan (Overheard).
Emperor is also launching The Beast Stalker director Dante Lam’s The Viral Factor, a US$17 million action thriller about a super virus that takes place around the world. Starring Jay Chou (Green Hornet), Nicholas Tse (Bodyguards and Assassins) and Andy On (True Legend), the project is in preproduction with location shooting planned in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Jordan.
Next up is Chinese director of 2009 drama City of Life and Death, Lu Chuan’s US$15 million historical epic The Last Supper about the battle between Liu Bang, Xiang Yu and Han Xin in the Warring State Period in Chinese history (third century B.C.), starring Liu Ye (City of Life and Death), Chang Chen (Red Cliff) and Daniel Wu (Triple Tap).
Hong Kong wunderkind Heiward Mak, noted for her directorial and screenwriting flare in previous efforts High Noon and Ex and award-nominated co-writing skills in Love in a Puff, will present DIVA, the US$1.3 million drama about two pop idols’ soul-searching, starring real-life pop star Joey Yung.
The studio will also distribute Mr. & Mrs. Single by the young master of urban romantic comedy, Patrick Kong (L for Love, L for Lies), starring Eason Chan (Lady Cop & Papa Crook), Harlem Yu (Butterfly Lovers) and Rene Liu (Run Papa Run), a new take on his trademark theme of deceit in relationships.
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