Big-budget action blockbusters “Raging Fire” and “The Rescue” headlined Emperor Motion Pictures’ (EMP) star-studded announcement at FilMart on Tuesday, which also saw many familiar Hong Kong faces returning for locally focused projects.
EMP also highlighted its mainland Chinese projects at the event, including “Two Tigers,” a black comedy produced by and starring Vicky Zhao Wei and directed by Li Fei, and “Caught in Time,” a crime thriller produced by Han Sanping, the producer-director who previously headed state-controlled China Film Group. “Caught in Time” is directed by Lau Ho-leung and stars Daniel Wu (“Tomb Raider,” “Into the Badlands”), who has not appeared in a Chinese film since 2015.
New Emperor title “Raging Fire” reunites director Benny Chan and singer-actor-turned-celebrity chef Nicholas Tse for the first time since their last collaboration, 2011’s “Shaolin.” The film, which recounts the rivalry of a former cop and his mentor, also stars Donnie Yen (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Ip Man”); Yen also is a producer.
EMP’s “The Rescue” is arguably the biggest Chinese production so far this year. The $90 million action-packed blockbuster is Dante Lam’s followup to “Operation Red Sea,” China’s top-grossing film in 2018. Starring Eddie Peng, Carlos Chan and Ian Wang, the film follows China’s Coast Guard rescue organization and is backed by China’s Ministry of Transport. It is slated for February 2020 Chinese New Year release. EMP has Asia rights to the film.
Anthony Wong (“Still Human”), who has just been named best actor by the Hong Kong Film Critics’ Society, will star in EMP’s psychological thriller “Declared Legally Dead,” directed by Steve Yuen.
Award-winning actor Sean Lau Ching-wan (“Overheard”) will join forces with director Wai Kar-fai (“Written By”) on crime thriller “Detective vs. Sleuths”.
Hong Kong director Herman Yau returns with “77 Heartwarmings,” a sequel to the successful “77 Heartbreaks”. The romantic comedy reunites Charlene Choi and Pakho Chau while bringing Thai heartthrob Mario Maurer on board to make his Hong Kong screen debut.
Renowned author and screenwriter Erica Li will make her directorial debut with tragedy “Just 1 Day,” also starring Choi and shot by award-winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle (“Chungking Express,” “In the Mood for Love”). Thriller “The Fallen,” directed by Lee Cheuk-pan (“G Affairs”), will bring the veteran actress Irene Wan back to the big screen.