Filmart: Nick Cheung to Star in Perfect Village Entertainment's 'Guilt by Design'

Nick Cheung -9th Shanghai International Film Festival - Getty-H 2018
Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

A courtroom drama with action flick flourishes, the movie will be co-directed by young Hong Kong filmmakers Lai Siu Kwan, Sze Pak Lam and Yongtai Liu.

Award-winning Hong Kong film star Nick Cheung is set to star in Guilt by Design, a forthcoming courtroom action drama from growing Chinese mini-studio Perfect Village Entertainment, working in partnership with Grand Canal Pictures. 

The film is based on an original script from young Hong Kong filmmakers Lai Siu Kwan, Sze Pak Lam and Yongtai Liu. The trio will also co-direct the project as their feature-filmmaking debut. 

Guilt by Design is a quintessential high-concept Hong Kong action/suspense thriller that marks the directorial debut of a brilliant trio of young Hong Kong writer/directors," Ellen Eliasoph, president and CEO of Perfect Village Entertainment. "This is a uniquely thrilling project in that, while its story, genre and style harken back to the finest traditions of Hong Kong filmmaking, its young creators can be said to represent the local film industry’s very promising future.”

The film is said to be mostly set in a Hong Kong courtroom. When one of the jurors of a high-profile case learns that his daughter has been mysteriously kidnapped, he is forced to decide whether to use his special skills to influence the case as the kidnappers demand.   

The film is co-produced and financed by Grand Canal Pictures, Perfect Village Entertainment and Mei Ah Films. Derek Yee, Jason Guo and Eliasoph produce.

The production team is expected to announce a full star-studded supporting cast sometime in the coming weeks. 

Guilt by Design was selected by the 2016 edition of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum, where it won the Network of Aisan Fantastic Films Award. The film's co-directors will be returning to HAF in Hong Kong on Tuesday to share their experience as emerging industry newcomers with other aspiring film talents from the region. The directors will offer tips and discuss how they moved the project from early development to full-scale production with major release plans in the mainland Chinese theatrical market.

Perfect Village Entertainment is the Beijing-based joint venture film studio formed last year by Chinese entertainment giant Perfect World, Village Roadshow and WME-IMG China. The company will next release Zhang Yimou's martial arts period action drama Shadow. The studio's slate also includes Reborn, a cyber-hacker thriller starring Chinese actors Han Geng and Rhydian Vaughan and featuring Japanese pop star Tomohisa Yamashita in his acting debut.