Hollywood suits 'Bangkok' directors

Nicolas Cage remakes Thai film with Pang Brothers

HONG KONG -- "Bangkok Dangerous" director Danny Pang said the Hollywood system is the perfect fit for him and his brother Oxide, twins collectively known as the Pang Brothers.

Having started their directorial career in Thailand, the Hong Kong-born brothers were used to the systematic approach of filmmaking in the country, which, incidentally, had a lot in common with the Hollywood process, Pang told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday. Contrarily, the more improvisational approach opted by Hong Kong filmmaking was harder for the twins to accept.

"Bangkok Dangerous," a remake of the brothers' 1999 Thai-language directorial debut, starring and produced by Nicolas Cage as a Caucasian hit man on a job in the Thai capital. The original caught the eye of Hollywood actor Cage, who produced the remake via his production company Saturn Films, along with IEG, Virtual Studios and Blue Star Entertainment.

Filming was interrupted by the 2006 Thailand military coup d'etat that ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The directors were advised to film silent gunfire shots for their numerous gunfight scenes after production resumed, Pang said.

No stranger to the remake process, having had their 2002 Asian horror classic "The Eye" made into the eponymous Jessica Alba vehicle, Pang said the English-language "Bangkok Dangerous" felt like a new film, since much of the story was altered to suit Cage's character and the taste of Western audiences. The brothers also had their first taste of the Hollywood filmmaking process with "The Messengers" in 2007.

The Pangs have just begun postproduction on Hong Kong-based Universe Film's comic adaptation "Storm Warriors," scheduled for 2009. The brothers will part ways for their upcoming projects, with Danny Pang going solo on his "For Eternitys" a love story set in Shanghai and starring Charlene Choi ("The Twins Effect"), backed by Emperor Motion Pictures and now awaiting script approval from the Chinese authorities.

"Bangkok Dangerous" will open on Sept. 5 in the U.S., distributed by Lionsgate. Interncontinental Films will open it in Hong Kong on Thursday.