The director and screenwriter of last year’s Arrows on the Bowstring (箭在弦上) are back with their newest drama, the currently filming Extremely Urgent (迫在眉睫), which stars the unlikely pairing of Gillian Chung and Baron Chen as treasure hunter and treasure defender.
Extremely Urgent takes place after the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. Thanks to the weak post-Qing warlord government, thieves from all over have their eyes on the country’s treasures, many of which have fallen into the hands of the people. He Cai (Baron Chen) wants to protect a treasure map that may lead to the 64 volumes of the Yongle Encyclopedia, so he creates and becomes the leader of a treasure protection organization named Dancing Sand.
However, he doesn’t bargain on meeting Chen Mo (Gillian Chung), an American-raised Chinese-boxing expert who returns to Shanghai to hunt down a precious artifact. After her birth father was killed when she was thirteen, Chen Mo was rescued and adopted by an American man named Henry, who taught her the ways of treasure hunting. Although she and He Cai are initially on opposite sides, they find themselves drawn to one another and fall in love.
I’m getting a National Treasure vibe from the synopsis, which I don’t mind at all, since I find that movie ridiculously entertaining and rewatchable. According to screenwriter Jiu Nian (Lotus Lantern, Magic Mobile Phone), he’s been aiming for a Raiders of the Lost Ark flavor from the start. I doubt Baron can pull off enough screen presence to rival Harrison Ford’s, but I’m actually really digging his look in this, which hasn’t happened with me since he did Fated to Love You.
Extremely Urgent will also star American actor Jonathan Kos-Read as a peddler of historical relics, as well as Ukrainian actress Irina Kaptelova as a femme fatale assassin. I don’t know much about them and there are no stills of them yet, but Kos-Read has been acting in Chinese productions since 1999 (though mostly in token white guy roles) and Kaptelova starred in a well-received drama last year called My Natasha (我的娜塔莎).
No word on a release date for Extremely Urgent yet, but the cast is currently filming in Beijing and is expected to continue filming at Hengdian World Studios afterward. In the meantime, have some stills to tide you over.