$12 million sequel starts next month

HONG KONG — Universe Entertainment wheeled out the stars at Hong Kong’s FilMart for the big-budget fantasy actioner “The Storm Riders II,” which features the return of Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng as Cloud and Wind in the comicbook adaptation.

Lensing on the $12 million sequel to 1998′s smash hit “The Storm Riders” starts next month, and horror helmers, twin brothers Danny and Oxide Pang (“The Eye”), are spending big on post-production to get a “300″ feel to the pic.

The film is slated for release by the end of 2009 in Hong Kong, China and Asia, and the pic is wowing Asian buyers, making multiple sales at FilMart.

” ‘The Storm Riders II’ will be the first Hong Kong movie that is filmed exclusively on blue screen and custom-made sets,” said executive producer Daneil Lam. “Post production will be particularly important and worth putting money into. Our goal is to produce a very visually stunning movie.”

Pic also features Simon Yam as Lord Godless, Nicholas Tse as Heart, Charlene Choi (one half of the Twins pop duo) as Second Dream and a rising star from Chinese Chengtian Entertainment’s stable, Tiffany T, who will play Chu Chu.

Golden Harvest, which produced the original “Storm Riders,” has distribution rights for Hong Kong, while Golden Harvest and Chengtian will distribute the pic on Universe’s behalf in mainland China. Universe will distribute in the rest of the world.

Pic has been sold to Mono Film in Thailand, Scorpio in Singapore, and P.T. Teguh Bakti Mandiri in Indonesia; there has been strong bidding from Malaysia, as well.

“The Storm Riders II” is an adaptation of comic master Ma Wing Shing’s 1990s best-selling “Fung Wan.”

CGI and special effects will be rendered by Fat Face Prods., which did “Recycle” and “The Warlords.” Post production is expected to take more than a year.

Art director and costume designer Yee Chung Man is planning to collaborate with mainland Chinese fashion designers to create a new look for the pic.

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