×

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

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content