‘Luck’ trio rides MCA wheel

“The Joy Luck Club’s” Russell Wong, Ming-Na Wen and Vivian Wu will all co-star in “Vanishing Sun,” the martial arts spoke in MCA TV’s action/adventure wheel. The series is scheduled for a January debut and John Nicolella, the director of “Miami Vice’s” first two seasons, is helming the production.

The other five spokes of the Universal Action Network include Hal Needham’s “The Bandit” (based on “Smokey and the Bandit”), John Landis’s “Fastlane,” Sam Raimi’s “Hercules,” William Shatner’s “Tekwar” and a TV adaptation of the hit movie “Midnight Run.”

“Vanishing Sun” is executive produced by Raffaella De Laurentis and Rob Cohn, whose feature film “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” inspired the series. The two-hour movies will not be a continuation of the Lee biopic, though.

Instead, “Sun” will chronicle the “Rich Man, Poor Man” plight of two brothers who escape mainland China in the wake of the Tiananmen Square uprising. Once Stateside, the chubby younger brother becomes seduced by capitalism’s dark side; the elder becomes an itinerant musician who just happens to kick butt when the chips are down.

Aside from being a martial arts showcase, the producers hope the series’ plots will continue to educate the viewer of the travails of Asian-Americans. Says director John Nicolella, “My culture is Italian, which is hugs and kisses. This is quite different, and it is certainly exciting to see and understand those differences.”

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