Cai Wenjing, Peng Guanying’s crime thriller releases first trailer

Loosely based on Xiancheng’s novel of the same name, The Controllers stars Cai Wenjing and Liu Kai as the protagonists who work together with police to bring down the criminal organisation led by Fu Shenxing (Peng Guanying). [Extended Synopsis]

First set of stills for Zhang Ruoyun, Wang Ou’s upcoming Republican drama

Stills have been released for Awakening of Insects, an upcoming Republican espionage drama from the writer of Sparrow 麻雀. The 45 episode drama stars Zhang Ruoyun, Wang Ou, Sun Yizhou, Kan Qingzi and Wang Longzheng. [Extended Synopsis]

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White Snake: Origin picked up for North American release

White Snake: Origin is the first Chinese animated film since who knows when to be released with English dubs in North American theaters

In the best distribution deal for a Chinese animated film in a long time,    White Snake: Origin, has been picked up for North American distributor GKIDS.  The distributer has previously distributed Ponyo, The Breadwinner, Howl’s Moving Castle, and most recently The Secret World of Arrietty, and currently has distribution writes to all the Studio Ghibli films.  Both English-dubbed and Chinese-subbed versions of the  film is tentatively set for a fall release in North America.   Synopsis from GKIDS, with Madame White Snake’s English name being translated as Blanca:

From Light Chaser Animation, one of China’s premiere animation studios, comes a visually stunning new take on a classic legend. One day a young woman named Blanca is saved by Xuan, a snake catcher from a nearby village. She has lost her memory, and together they go on a journey to discover her real identity, developing deeper feelings for one another along the way. But as they learn more about her past, they uncover a darker plot of supernatural forces vying for power, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Conceived as a prequel to one of the most ancient and enduring stories in Chinese history, White Snake presents a sumptuous tale of trickster demons, deadly mythical beasts, assassins, wuxia action, and the promise of eternal love.

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Spirited Away posters from Zhou Dongyu, Jing Boran, Peng Yuchang

“Life is a train that goes in one direction.”

The voices of the Chinese dub of Spirited Away –  Zhou Dongyu, Jing Boran, Peng Yuchang, Wang Lin, and Tian Zhuangzhuang – posed for a set of posters inspired by their animated counterparts. The film will receive a belated wide release in theaters in China on the June 21st. FYI, it was previously available online/via DVD, not banned as some headlines seem to imply.

Artistic posters for the Chinese release of Spirited Away by Zao Dao and Huang Hai.

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Wu Jing takes a literal leap of faith in new trailer for The Climbers

The Climbers 攀登者 tells of the first successful Mt. Everest expedition by Chinese climbers. The star-studded cast includes Wu Jing, Zhang Ziyi, Zhang Yi, Jing Boran, Hu Ge, Wang Jingchun and Jackie Chan.

Directed by Daniel Lee (Time Raiders), the film is slated to premiere on September 30th.

“I only want to be your supporting actor” – the story of Zhang Yunlei and Yang Jiulang

“When I was in the Intensive Care Unit, he promised me … ‘ In the future, whatever makes you happy, whatever you want to do, go do it and  I’ll follow you.’ ” – Zhang Yunlei

Yang Jiulang kept his word.  According to a director of a variety show,  in the two years since Zhang Yunlei came out of the ICU, Yang Jiulang completely molded himself to fit Zhang Yunlei.

He would wheel him around in a wheelchair off stage and be his crutch on stage.  He would stay up until 3am waiting for word that Zhang Yunlei got home safely from filming.  He would drive home after filming, sleeping at 7am so he could perform with Zhang Yunlei at 2pm  until 10pm before driving him home.  He doesn’t even hand Zhang Yunlei water without first unscrewing the cap. He once spent a whole song acting as Zhang Yunlei’s mic stand. He almost never sings but knows the lyrics to every song Zhang Yunlei ever sings on stage.  If Zhang Yunlei wants him to sing, all Zhang Yunlei has to do was to stop mid-sentence and look to the left, and Yang Jiulang will finish his sentence without missing a beat.

From love at first meal, two miraculous comebacks, learning to walk three times,  to plenty of foreshadowing and climaxes, the story of singer-comedian Zhang Yunlei and his partner Yang Jiulang unfolds as if it were a carefully constructed drama. Zhang Yunlei’s life story is a miracle in itself, but the story of their journey together is a fitting parallel plot.

*warning* Because they’re comedians, everything they say is a lie or a hyperbole.   I will try to stick to off-stage interviews here, but I hold no responsibility for recounting lies they fed me.

“If fate be willing, we will be together “

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Promos Round-Up: A Little Love Song

Beating The Prince of Tennis to stream this summer is another tennis-themed drama,  A Little Love Song 我的盖世英雄.  The drama tells of childhood friends and tennis buddies played by Ren Youlun and Liao Yuchen as they support each other in their sports and life journey. Two free episodes are available every Friday, Saturday on iQiyi here. It’s not region blocked at least for the US.

Trailer below:

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