Sundream preps 4 pics

Lineup headed by 'Howling Arrow'

HONG KONG — I-Cable Communications film venture Sundream Motion Pictures is prepping a four pic slate.

Major production for this year will be “Howling Arrow,” helmed by Sammo Hung.

The tribute to martial arts set in Northeast China during the late Qing dynasty will use a minimum amount of special effects and will have a budget of at least $16 million.

Cast hasn’t been confirmed.

Second big pic will be “Let’s Steal Together,” which will require about the same amount of coin. The contemporary pic will be helmed by Kong To-hoi and is about thieves taking Chinese heritage items. Cast isn’t confirmed.

On smaller budgets are “Kindersoldier” and “Fist of Love.”

“Fist of Love” will start shooting at the end of April. Story takes place in a bar and centers on Chinese drinking games, which have a long history in China with a lot of variations, said Tsui Siuming, president of Sundream, which is celebrating its first anniversary later this month.

Budget will be around $1 million and helmer will be Lam Wah-chuen. Cast isn’t confirmed.

“Kindersoldier,” a drama about how children survive when they must join wars to help protect their families will have a budget of about $1.5 million.

A director and cast haven’t been chosen because the script is still being developed. However, Tsui is targeting directors with a cultural background as opposed to commercial. He’s also looking beyond Hong Kong and trying to tap Mainland helmers.

In addition to these will be two to three more pics for the year.

The first pic released under the Sundream banner was “49 Days” (a.k.a. “Twilight of the Uncertainty”), which has so far made more than $1 million at the Hong Kong box office. It was released Feb. 16.

Pic stars Stephen Fung and Gillian Chung, and was produced by Stephen Ng and Tsui.

The $16 million “Battle of Wits,” based on a Japanese comic, has finished filming and is in post production. Sundream is shooting for an end-of-year bow.

Jacob Cheung helms the historical war pic with Andy Lau, Sung Ki Ahn, Bing Bing Fan and Nicky Wu starring.

Pic is a co-production between Sundream, Japan’s Comstock, Korea’s Boram and China’s Huayi Brothers.

“Eye in the Sky” (aka “CIB”) starring Tony Leung Ka-fai and helmed by Yau Nai-hoi is still shooting with a tentative release this summer. Pic, about a criminal intelligence bureau and a game of hide and seek, is produced by Johnnie To and Tsui.