‘Kingdom’ unfurls in Beijing

Historical martial arts film abuzz over 'UFO hat'

BEIJING — Andy Lau, Maggie Q and Sammo Hung turned out April 1 for the Beijing bow of Danny Lee’s historic martial arts actioner “Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon.”

Chinese auds have been particularly taken with Andy Lau’s unusual headgear, a rimmed helmet that they say looks like a UFO. The $20 million epic actioner also features Yu Rongguang.

“Three Kingdoms” is based on “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms” by Luo Guangzhong, a tale of Zhao Yun, who lived during the Three Kingdoms period set in 220-265 A.D.

The story is often cited as one of the four most important pieces of Chinese literature and is rich enough in material to provide a story line for another big Asian production, John Woo’s “Red Cliff,” which is still in post-production.

Maggie Q, best known in the West for her roles in “Die Hard 4.0” and “MI:3,” stars as Cao Ying, a vicious female warrior in charge of the Wei kingdom.

Local Chinese media were keen to grill pic’s Maggie Q about a recent sex photos scandal in Hong Kong involving Edison Chen, whose racy photos of top stars were spread online.

“I’m not going to answer any questions that are not about the movie. Edison Chen was a good actor before ‘Sex Photogate’ happened,” she told the Beijing News.

Coin and post-production input came from South Korea’s Taewon Entertainment, with additional funding from equity investors.

International sales are by Arclight Films, the L.A. and Australia-based sales agent, which will rep the film under its Easternlight label.

Chinese producer-distrib Polybona has China rights for the pic, which opens April 3 in South Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and it will feature in competition at Tribeca mid-April.

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