Following on the path blazed by John Woo, vet Hong Kong director Ronny Yu will move Stateside, to helm the $ 6 million fantasy film “Slayer,” the producers confirmed Thursday.
“Slayer” is the first English-language feature for the 44-year-old Yu, who has directed 16 features in his native Hong Kong.
His most recent is the $ 4 million “The Bride with White Hair,” which received favorable reviews in a limited U.S. release earlier this month.
“Slayer” is being hawked at the American Film Market by August Entertainment’s Gregory Cascante, who is handling worldwide sales for the pic.
Producer Stuart Shapiro said production is already fully financed with a 40 -day shoot skedded to start in June.
Mark Dacascos, star of “Only the Strong,” plays a hit man for the devil who decides to quit.
“Slayer” also reunites producers Shapiro, Steven Menkin and Samuel Hadida, who were behind “Strong,” which 20th Century Fox released last summer.
Yu credited Woo for opening the doors for filmmakers, but said he hopes to contribute his own style to the new wave of Asian directors.
He said he chose “Slayer” because he believes the script by Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris and Mark Bishop can break beyond the boundaries of typical action/adventure fare.
“I don’t want to make an exploitation, B-level, chop-chop type of movie,” said Yu, who speaks fluent English by virtue of a boarding school education in the United Kingdom and a college degree from Ohio State.
“I can make that type of movie in Hong Kong. We’re trying to make it more of a mystical, action movie as opposed to a kung-fu, martial-arts movie. And we’re emphasizing the romance in the story.”