Filmart 2012: Emperor Readies Firefighter Drama

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The film marks the first collaboration between director Derek Kwok and star Nicholas Tse.

HONG KONG - Emperor Motion Pictures will back an as-yet-untitled firefighter drama to be directed by award-winning helmer Derek Kwok and starring Nicholas Tse. The film marks the first collaboration between Tse and Kwok, who won the best director honor at the 2010 Hong Kong Film Awards (with co-director Clement Cheng). Kwok says he has spent more than six months researching the film, which will showcase Tse’s own stunts.

Also in the Emperor pipeline is Angry Kid, the directorial debut of Huang Lei, son of Huang Jianxin, the veteran director of the recent Chinese historical epics Founding of the Republic and Beginning of the Great Revival, who is producing the $1.3 million comedy. With principal photography on the film now complete, Kid is scheduled for a summer release.

The powerhouse studio also will be distributing Triads, a made-in-Hong Kong thriller with local producer Ng Kin-hung (Love Lifting, City of SARS) and new director Daniel Chan. Starring singer-turned-actor William Chan, the film recently began shooting.

“From our company’s standpoint, we aim to make a number of films in Hong Kong, whether we’re in charge of the production or distribution, as a means to help the young new directors to make their first steps in the industry,” Albert Lee told The Hollywood Reporter. “Due to the subject matter, not all of the new directors’ films can be made into China-Hong Kong co-productions. Making films in Hong Kong gives them a greater degree of freedom.”

Rounding out Emperor’s slate at this year’s Filmart is the Derek Yee produced and Law Chi-leung-directed The Bullet Vanishes, starring Lau Ching-Wan and Nicholas Tse; Chinese director Lu Chuan’s The Last Supper, with Daniel Wu, Chang Chen and Liu Ye in the leads; and Heiward Mak’s Diva, starring pop singer Joey Yeung.

Emperor, celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, will be honored at the Asian Film Awards for its 2010-11 production Let the Bullets Fly, which has been named Top Grossing Asian Film.