BEIJING – The Chinese movies set to dominate the lucrative Christmas/New Year period all have something in common – they all feature veteran Ge You, rapidly emerging as China’s most bankable thesp.
Competition for slots at this heavy cinema-going time of year is intense, and the decision is made by the Chinese biz colossus, China Film. This year it has decided on three big pics backed by major-name helmers — Feng Xiaogang’s “If you are the one 2,” Jiang Wen’s “Let the bullets fly” and “Sacrifice” by Chen Kaige.
Initially known as a comedian, Ge has established himself as China’s most sought-after thesp, and he plays three very different roles in the three year-end movies.
First out of the traces on Dec. 4 will be Chen Kaige’s latest, “Sacrifice,” in which Ge plays a kindly doctor alongside Wang Xueqi, Fan Bingbing, Huang Xiaoming, Zhang Fengyi, who last worked with Chen on “Farewell, my concubine” in 1993, and veteran William Wang.
The $18-million movie has caused quite a stir in China. The crush was so great at the launch of the pic in a small town in Shanxi province in March that a platform collapsed and six reporters were injured.
Pic is produced by China Stellar Film Co., Hunan TV and Broadcasting Media Group, Shanghai Film Group and 21 Century Shengkai Film.
It will be followed on Dec. 16 by the $18-million actioner “Let the bullets fly,” directed by former bad boy Jiang and which features Chow Yun-fat, Jiang himself and Ge You. Robert de Niro, during a recent visit to Beijing, gave the pic a major thumbs-up. It’s produced by China Film, Emperor Motion Pictures and Beijing Bu Yi Le Hu Film Co.
Feng Xiaogang is China’s most bankable helmer and “If you are the one”
took $49 million in 2008. He again collaborates with producers Huayi Brothers on the $7.5-million follow-up “If you are the one 2,” while Hong Kong’s Media Asia are also invoved as are Zhejiang Film Group and Universal Hot Brother Film/Music Co.
Ge plays a middle-aged man searching for love in the romantic comedy and will line up alongside Fanny Shu, Yao Chen and An Yixuan.