Much delayed and highly anticipated film The Monkey King in 3D starring Donnie Yen, Chow Yun-fat, Aaron Kwok, Joe Chen, Peter Ho, Zhang Zilin, among others has released production goodies, hopefully signifying that this newest release date will actually be the real one. The Monkey King is yet another spinoff of Journey to the West without the actual journey, this time focusing on the Monkey King wrecking havoc in the heavens.
A year after playing the tragic Yu Ji at the beginning of the Han dynasty, Crystal Liu Yifei now takes on the dual role of Diao Chan and Diao Chan’s daughter as Cao Cao usurps the power of the Lius in The Assassins 铜雀台*. (Admittedly, she’s rather suited for playing ancient beauties). The movie is lead by Chow Yun-fat as Cao Cao, who is supported by Alec Su as the puppet emperor Liu Xie (aka Emperor Xian.) Annie Yi plays Xian’s ill-fated consort, Empress Fu. Hiroshi Tamaki takes on the role of Mu Shu, the childhood sweetheart of Diao Chan’s daughter (Lingju). I’m assuming he’s the “eunuch” who helps Empress Fu and her father Fu wan plot against Cao Cao, because the other Mu Shu of Three Kingdoms is a general who was killed by Lingju’s father, Lv Bu. Together, he and Lingju train to become assassins against Cao Cao…Character posters can be found below, with some more here. Watch the MV for the theme song (“Waiting for Snow”) sung by Liu Yifei here. Continue reading
Pretty concept art for Chow Yun-fat and Liu Yifei’s upcoming film Bronze Sparrow Terrace/The Assassins 铜雀台. Chow plays the brilliant antagonist of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Cao, while Liu Yifei plays ones of the Four Beauties – Diaochan.
Also, it seems like they’re partnering with card game company SanGuoSha (advanced Three Kingdoms version of mafia), so we might soon see Liu Yifei in a card game! Of course, SanGuoSha Online already have Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen cards, soo ….
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In the meantime, here’s a list of modern day romance movies to look forward to in 2010, because these films are covered less than the ancient/wuxia/martial arts films by English-language media and yet, China has completely nose-dived into this genre in the past year. Cinema goers in China want the choice of light-hearted entertainment from the cinema, and the Chinese film industry is rapidly accommodating that niche in the market.
Last year, there was only a small selection – this year there’s much much more. With China’s total box office up 44% in 2009, and 1.65 cinema screens added per day, with no signs of slowly down, this should only be one sign to look forward to of the growing diversification of China’s rapidly rising film industry.