'Kung Fu Jungle' to Get World Premiere at London Film Festival

Donnie Yen P

The Teddy Chen film features action star Donnie Yen and Michelle Bai

The 58th BFI London Film Festival will present the world premiere of Kung Fu Jungle (Yi Ge Ren de Wu Lin), directed by Hong Kong filmmaker Teddy Chen (Bodyguards and Assassins).

The film, which will screen in the festival's Thrill selection, stars Donnie Yen and Michelle Bai. The stars and the director are scheduled to attend the premiere at London's Empire Leicester Square Cinema, a big premiere venue in the British capital.

"Donnie Yen is a truly exhilarating martial arts star and action director and Kung Fu Jungle is a breathtaking thrill ride, featuring stellar performances from the entire cast," said festival director Clare Stewart.

The film is about a former martial arts instructor (Yen) who is imprisoned after accidentally killing an opponent. When a killer starts targeting the reigning kung fu masters, he offers to help the police catch him in return for his freedom. The killer then threatens the woman he loves (Bai).

Said Chen: "As the Empire is equipped with one of the biggest screens in the U.K., it will surely be the perfect setting for the screening of my film. It is my first film to cross martial arts combat in a contemporary Hong Kong action film with elements of a thriller and crime detective story."

The festival previously announced that it would also host the world premiere of Monsters: Dark Continent, directed by Tom Green, the sequel to Monsters (2010), in its Thrill selection. It has also booked a range of Cannes favorites for its lineup.

The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, will open the London festival, while Brad Pitt's Fury will close it.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai