Universal Partners With Hong Kong's Edko for Kung Fu Film 'Rise of the Legend'

Bill Kong

The film marks the return to the screen of martial arts master Wong Fei Hung.

Universal Pictures International is partnering with Edko Films and Irresistible Films to co-produce and distribute Chinese kung-fu action film Rise of the Legend, which is set to bring martial arts icon Wong Fei Hung back to the big screen.

UPI, through its division Universal Pictures International Production (UPIP), is co-producing the film, and Universal Pictures International has acquired all rights in international territories, including North America (but excluding Asia), to the production, directed by Roy Chow and starring Peng Yuyan in the title role.

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Rise of the Legend will be distributed and marketed in Asia by Edko Films and internationally by Universal Pictures International.

Bill Kong, head of Edko Films and producer of the film, said: "We collaborated with Universal back in 2006 and achieved optimal results."

Kong and Universal previously partnered with the studio for Fearless, starring Jet Li, which screened in more than 1,800 theaters and ranked second place in its opening weekend, grossing more than $32.5 milllion (RMB200 million) at the box office during its run.

"We think Western audiences will respond to Rise of the Legend just as strongly as they did to Fearless," Kong said.

Hugh Simon of Irresistible Films promised the movie will employ new technologies "to thrill the audiences."

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Universal Pictures International’s president of distribution, Duncan Clark, added: "In China, the exponential growth in the local market presents great opportunities and Universal is committed to working with emerging and established partners to bring fresh and exciting projects to local audiences."

Currently in postproduction, the actioner is co-produced by Edko Films, Irresistible Films, Universal Pictures International, vfxNova Digital Productions, and BDI Films.

Chow directs from a screenplay written by his longtime collaborator, Christine To

Also starring in the film are Sammo Hung, Wang Luodan, Jing Boran, Wong Cho Lam, Zhang Jin, with special appearances by Tony Leung Ka-fai and Angelababy.

The film is set for release this year.