Shaw Studios Announces Seven-Film Slate for 2011

Classic studio will supply content to TVB, including Tommy Leung's "Triumph in the Skies."

HONG KONG -- Triumph In The Skies, by producer Tommy Leung, highlights a seven-film slate that the Shaw Brothers/Television Broadcast announced Tuesday.

The sister companies are utilizing the human resources of the TV network and the studio facilities of the Shaw Studios to produce the seven films, including popular TV-show adaptations and original stories with budgets ranging from $2 million-$5 million. The new slate is one of the first moves for the legendary studio in building a new film library, Shaw Brothers director Lawrence Wong told The Hollywood Reporter

Triumph, a $5 million big-screen adaptation of the 2003 aviation series, will feature an around-the-world shoot including Russia. TVB favorite and mullti-hyphenate Eric Tsang is producing four titles, including cop thriller Fatal Connections with director Herman Yau, the first among the titles to go into production. He will also produce The Three Wise Guys, a Chinese vampire academy comedy for this summer where he reunites with his I Love HK director Chung Shue-kai; Jiang-hu Yi (tentative title), an original epic about Hong Kong triads before the handover in 1997, with director Daniel Chan; and Hunt for Love, co-directing with his protégé Heiward Mak on the original story by media personality/writer Michelle Lo.

Besides the aviation drama, Leung will produce Turning Point Extreme, the sequel to 2009’s undercover cop drama Turning Point, the highest grossing Chinese-language film that summer and the film that rebooted production at Shaw Brothers. Director of the first film, Herman Yau, returns to take the helm. Lawrence Cheng and Barbara Wong, the producer-director team behind Shaw Brothers/TVB’s 2010 romantic comedy, Perfect Wedding, will adapt the local hit play The Passage Beyond. All the titles will move into production in 2011.

“There aren’t enough films for the local Hong Kong market, and we have the resources both at TVB and Shaw Brothers to tailor make movies for the local audience,” Wong said.

The films will also be content for TVB’s own movie channel.

“There are many uses for the software,” Wong said. ”Even though some of our previous releases didn’t do that well as theatrical releases, we made a profit at the end through other channels. More important, we can begin to build a new Shaw Brothers film library.” 

All the films in the new slate, with the exception of the triad epic Jiang-hu Yi due to its subject matter, are designed to be Hong Kong-China co-productions.

“With Chinese partners sharing the risks of our productions, we can afford to expand our production slate,” Wong said.