×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlin: Pang Ho-Cheung to Direct Louis Cha’s ‘Deer and Cauldron’ Mega Franchise

The Deer and the Cauldron,” one of the best-known martial arts novel series, is to be reborn as a major feature film franchise. Hong Kong’s Pang Ho-cheung (“Love in a Puff,” “Isabella”) is to produce and direct.

Pang plans to shoot three movies, back to back, each with a budget of $80 million. Production begins in mid-2019, with a 2021 theatrical date for the first film.

Production will be through Pang’s own Making Film. International sales and finance are being organized through mainland Chinese-backed Hong Kong entertainment conglomerate Bravos Pictures. Bravos is introducing the franchise at the European Film market. The male lead in the novels, Wei Xiaobao, is a charming and mischievous hero rather than a wu xia martial arts champion; an actor for that role has not yet been announced.

Set in the Qing Dynasty era, and ranging widely in a fashion comparable to “Harry Potter” or the “Game of Thrones” series, the books were written some 70 years ago by Louis Cha (aka Jin Rong), the father of the wu xia chivalric martial arts literary genre, who died last year. Cha’s novels have been previously adapted by Stephen Chow and others, and were shot as a Hong Kong TV series more than 20 years ago.

Pang is one of the most talented and most idiosyncratic directors to have emerged from Hong Kong in recent years, with first-rate conventional skills, but often working in a cutting-edge indie fashion. He was also one of the first Hong Kong filmmakers in the modern era to set up his own outfit in Beijing. “The Deer and the Cauldron” will be his first period production.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Once Upon a Time

    Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance Commits $5 Million to Amazon Fires

    Earth Alliance, an environmental initiative backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has committed $5 million toward the preservation of the Amazon rain forest following an alarming surge in wildfires. After launching Sunday, the organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund is working to support local partners and indigenous communities in their efforts to protect the sensitive habitats within the [...]

  • (from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson)

    Box Office: 'Hobbs & Shaw' Scores $102 Million Debut in China, Nears $600 Million Globally

    Universal’s “Hobbs & Shaw” returned to first place on the international box office charts, thanks to a massive $102 million debut in China. The “Fast & Furious” spinoff, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, collected another $120 million overseas, boosting its foreign tally to $441 million. “Hobbs & Shaw” is nearing the $600 million mark [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Rises to No. 1 With $21 Million Debut

    “Angel Has Fallen,” the third chapter in Lionsgate and Millenium’s action franchise starring Gerard Butler, had a stronger opening weekend than expected, collecting $21.25 million during its first three days of release. Those ticket sales were enough to top domestic box office charts, bumping last weekend’s champ, Universal’s comedy “Good Boys,” to second place. Starring [...]

  • Amanda

    ‘Amanda’ Takes Home Best Int’l Film at 15th Sanfic

    SANTIAGO, Chile    French director Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” scooped up the Best Int’l Film award Saturday (Aug. 24) at the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Fest (Sanfic), which reported a 20% audience uptick in the past two years and continues to grow its reputation as the most vibrant and prominent film festival in Latin America’s Southern [...]

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content