Feng Xiaogang’s Tangshan Earthquake


At the press conference for Jia You! Eastern Angels (the female version of My Hero) Wang Zhonglei, the Hua Yi president revealed  the details of director Feng Xiaogang‘s newest film, Tangshan Earthquake.

The Tangshan Earthquake occurred in 1976 and was the most destructive earthquake of the 20th century by death toll, with numbers in the hundreds of thousands, in contrast to the devastating The Sichuan Earthquake with a  death toll around 70,000.

The aftermath must have been horrifying, because the government in China at that time was at the end of Mao’s reign, and going through a transition period. It simply didn’t have the organization or resources that China’s government had last year to help cope with disaster relief, and even with Sichuan the stench of bodies was said to have lasted for a week.

In one part of the film, the main character’s mother is in the middle of an earthquake. Her pair of faternal twins are stuck under a stone slab. The mother can only pick one, because by raising the left side, the right side will crush the child under it. But by raising the right side, the child on the left will lose his life. Feng Xiaogang believes this reflects the suffering brought by something as unexpected and devastating as an earthquake.

The leads should be announced sometime around the Shanghai Film Festival, China’s largest film festival, whose jury will be headed by recent Oscar-winning director, Danny Boyle.

It would cost 150 million RMB (a little over 20 million USD) and would be Feng Xiaogang’s highest budgeted movie to date. Part of this cost involves having the post-production crew from, wait for it…Harry Potter. If they mean the first HP movie, then that doesn’t seem like a great choice.

Feng Xiaogang’s last film, If You Are the One, which was meant to be rather low-key, and was filled with product placements to supplement its box office earnings, ended up unexpectedly being the highest grossing film of China in 2008, earning 325 million yuan, beating out Red Cliff’s 321 million yuan.


8 thoughts on “Feng Xiaogang’s Tangshan Earthquake

  1. No it hasn’t started production, but I’m guessing it will soon after they pick their female lead, so probably late June or early July.

    I wonder who the lead will be. Ady An attended the John Rabe premiere with him, but I doubt she’ll get such a big project so fast since she just got the lead in a few series. That’s something I like about Hua Yi. They make you work from the bottom up.

  2. This is gonna be box office gold for sure. Feng Xiaogang + Earthquake = BO $$$$

    Im interested in seeing what he does with the genre. Has it started production yet?

  3. I wonder what HY will do without Feng Xiaogang. He’s so important to Huayi.

    You know what, that should be the Super Girl group’s name. Dragon Angels. Long Tian Shi. It’ll be like Long Danni’s personal angels. And the name matches Top Combine’s fanclub – Zhi Tian Shi. The only problem is with people calling them deaf, heavenly poop…

    I hope they’ll get someone who can sing and dance, if only so that BOBO Musical will have good female leads. They should get a twin group….

  4. Dragon Angels…I like it. It’s almost an oxymoron. Lol at the motto.

    I think the Feng Xiaogang effect will make this movie number 1, much more so than the “Nanking” effect. I don’t think any of his movies failed to bring in the money, simply because everyone has so much trust in him as a director, and he has always delivered apart from The Banquet.

    Also the fact that this is one of China’s first big-budget disaster films is probably going to intrigue a lot of people.

  5. I wonder if this movie can pull of the Nanking! effect, where everyone went to watch it because it was just the right thing to do. I kind of feel bad for Huayi in this aspect. John Rabe would’ve been a much bigger box hit had Nanking! not opened in the same month.

    This is off topic, and probably inappropriate in such a depressing topic…but is there an official translation of Jiayou! Eastern Angels! Like maybe “My Angel” instead of “My Hero.” or is it just “Angel,” a la the poser?

    If not…I think we should translate it as “Jia You! Dragon Angels!” since Dongfang TV=Dragon TV. It makes them sound more fierce. Because right now, I don’t even want to pay attention to a show with the motto “conquer the world with beauty!”

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