FilMart: Chinese Record-Breaker ‘Operation Red Sea’ Set for Action Follow-Up

Chinese director Dante Lam poses on the red carpet for the film That Demon Within during the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival,, in BerlinGermany Berlin Film Festival That Demon Within Red Carpet, Berlin, Germany
Axel Schmidt/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Dante Lam, the Hong Kong director whose “Operation Red Sea” recently became the second largest film in Chinese history, has set a new actioner as his next film.

The untitled picture is to be produced by Hong Kong’s Emperor Motion Picture. The film will likely be produced in collaboration CCTV and benefit from the support from China’s Ministry of Transport.
The project was unveiled Monday at Hong Kong’s annual FilMart, by Lam and EMP chairman Albert Yeung.

“Operation Red Sea” was released at Chinese new year and has overtaken Stephen Chow’s “The Mermaid” to accumulate $553 million (RMB 3.5 billion).

Based on real events, and told in a style that is drenched in patriotism, the film has earned unprecedented praise and blessings from the mainland government. Zhou Jiandong, deputy director-general of the Film Bureau, called the film the best example of Communist Party spirit in a commercial movie.

Along with other smash hits “Detective Chinatown 2” and “Monster Hunt 2,” the film has put China’s box office back on a growth track. February box office was $1.59 billion (RMB10 billion yuan) a global one-month record.

Other EMP productions unveiled at FilMart include: action-thriller “Crossfire” directed by Benny Chan and starring Donnie Yen; and Mak Siu-fai’s crime-thriller trilogy “Integrity.” EMP will also produce Herman Yau’s romantic comedy “77 Heartburns,” a follow-up to last year’s “77 Heartbreaks”; “Fatal Visit” by lyricist-turned-director Calvin Poon; and a big screen adaptation of Hong Kong stage play “Murder in San Jose,” written by Candace Chong.