Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar Wai is taking up producing duties for One for the Road, the new feature by Thai helmer Nattawut (Baz) Poonpiriya of the 2017 worldwide blockbuster Bad Genius.
Production commenced in New York last week and will take place across Thailand. Written by director Poonpiriya, One for the Roadsees him reuniting with Chutimon (Aokbab) Chuengcharoensukying, his lead actress in Bad Genius. The film revolves around a road trip taken by two life-long friends after one of them was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
One for the Road is presented by Wong’s Jet Tone Films with Wong as producer, and repped internationally by his Block 2 Distribution. One of the most internationally renowned filmmakers from Hong Kong since the 1990s, Wong has spent the last few years producing while prepping Blossoms, a period literary adaptation billed as the third installment of the In the Mood For Love trilogy. The last feature film he directed was The Grandmaster, released in 2013. In 2018, he produced Jinpa by Tibetan director Pema Tseden, as well as Europe Raiders, which starred his longtime collaborator Tony Leung Chiu Wai, to be seen as The Mandarin in Marvel’s upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
“We are very happy to have the opportunity to work with a great talent like Baz whose previous work Bad Genius has proven his unique and strong approach to storytelling,” Wong Kar Wai said in a statement.
Bad Genius has secured Poonpiriya’s place as one of Asia’s most bankable rising filmmakers. The heist thriller, the highest grossing Thai film in Thailand in 2017, was also a massive hit across Asia, including in China where it grossed $41 million, making it the most successful Thai film internationally.
Director Poonpiriya said, “As a filmmaker, I think in order to get better in what you are doing, is not to stay in your comfort zone. A year working closely with the Grandmaster Mr. Wong Kar Wai is a great opportunity for me to get away from my comfort zone and explore a new territory as a director. While still be true to yourself as a human.”