Three billion RMB trilogy Fengshen announces cast

Most leads for the films are newcomers who have trained for six months in horseback riding, martial arts, archery, drumming, ancient Chinese music and etiquette for the film.

Wu’ershan(Painted Skin 2)-directed fantasy epic trilogy Fengshen, loosely based on the Investiture of the Godshas released the first set of character posters. Other than Chen Kun, the trilogy will star Huang Bo as Jiang Ziya, Li Xuejian as King Wen of Zhou, Xia Yu as Shen Gongbao, Kris Phillips as King Zhou of Shang, and introduces newcomers Hai Liang as King Yin Jiao and Yu Shi as King Wu of Zhou.

With 2000 crew members and a budget of over 3 billion RMB (445 USD), the trilogy is China’s biggest pre-budgeted film series yet.

The film’s meticulous aesthetic draws on Song dynasty landscape paintings, 16th-century Daoist art and elements from the Bronze Age Shang and Zhou eras. Elaborately carved screens and lintels, delicate jade bowls, chariots, leather armor and weaponry fill the studio’s soundstages and storage rooms. 

“I wanted every piece to be museum-quality,” Wuershan says. “We developed everything ourselves via an analysis of Shang objects, so even though it looks very antique, it’s actually all original.” 

Variety interview with director Wu’ershan
(more…)

Grave-robbing books to be made into movies

Caption
Whose tomb are you visiting today?

The two book series that set off the tomb-raiding craze will be both made into a series of films.

Among the two,  The Ghouls: Code of the Dragon 鬼吹灯之寻龙诀 will be directed by Wu’ershan (Painted Skin II). The film, based on the first book of the second series, is produced by Huayi Brothers, Wanda, and Enlight Media, and is set for a December 2015 release.

Meanwhile,  The Lost Tombs 盗墓笔记 will be produced by our favorite Huanrui along with Filmko Entertainment. Part 1 of 8 is planning for a summer 2016 release.

What do you think? Which one are you looking forward to the most?

The Ghouls concept trailer:

sources: sina, sina

P.S. For those of you faint in the heart,  The Lost Tombs actually has real ghosts while The Ghouls does not.  And for those of you who are righteous in the heart, The Ghouls feature archaeologists who are forced to search the graves rather than actual grave robbers.

“Painted Skin II” Sets New Records At the Box Office

JULY 3, 2012 | POSTED IN MAINLAND CHINA,MOVIES, TAGGED CHEN KUN, FENG SHAOFENG, PAINTED SKIN II, PAINTED SKIN: RESURRECTION, WUERSHAN, YANG MI, ZHAO WEI,ZHOU XUN

With a stellar cast and a rising director, love epic Painted Skin II: The Resurrection made over 70 million yuan (about 11 million dollars) on its opening day on June 28th, surpassingLet Bullets Fly (62 million yuan) to have the highest opening weekend box office for a Chinese film. It also doubled Aftershocks‘ record for the midnight premier for Chinese films, and halved the time for a Chinese film to make 300 million RMB (47 million dollars).

The original Painted Skin, kept alive only by the sheer abilities of its lead actors, is no comparison to the much superior sequel. The new revamped fantasy tale boasts a mix of the old and new. The trio of Zhao Wei, Zhou Xun and Chen Kun are still here, to be joined by rising leads Yang Mi and Feng Shaofeng, both of whom sparked in their roles.  The rather dull Gordon Chan is replaced with audacious new director Wu’ershan.  The dark grays of the original can still be seen in the surrounding city, but the shimmering gold of Zhao Wei’s armor and the serene shots of the water and sand  of Tibet makes Resurrection a pleasure to be seen.

As Derek Elley of Film Business Asia put it,  ” Whereas the rather old-fashioned Painted Skin, …  never knew exactly what it was …  Resurrection knows exactly what it is.   The script … has no connection with the famous Qing dynasty short story by Pu Songlingthat spawned Painted Skin. Instead, it takes its underlying theme — that beauty is only skin deep — and constructs an elaborate tale in which a seductive fox demon offers to switch her looks with a scarred princess so the latter can test the love of a general who was once her bodyguard. It’s a complex, multi-layered screenplay that mixes myth and witchcraft with eternal truths about love and attraction, as well as stirring in strong “sisterly” resonances in a story that’s female-focused throughout.”

IR