Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai’s new film “Blossoms” is set to start shooting in mainland China’s Hengdian World Studios from July. The production has reportedly rented space at the sprawling studio in coastal Zhejiang province for 11 months, from May of this year to March 2021.
The news is the latest indication that film production in mainland China is revving back up again after coronavirus closures, far ahead of the rest of the world.
“Blossoms” will be Wong’s first film since 2013’s “The Grandmaster,” and only his eleventh in more than three decades. It is an adaptation of the eponymous 2012 novel by Jin Yucheng, one of the few authors writing directly in the local dialect of Shanghainese, and tells the story of a young man looking for status and romance in the boom years of 1990s China.
Wong has previously called the film a deeply personal return to his hometown of Shanghai, saying that he’s been developing the script for the past five years. The Hengdian studios are about a 90-minute drive away from the metropolis.
“Let’s guess how long director Wong will take to shoot this time,” joked Chinese entertainment news website Mtime, poking fun of the helmer’s famously slow execution rate.
His iconic “In the Mood for Love” took 15 months to create, while “2046” took nearly five years. The 1994 martial arts epic “Ashes of Time” took a gruelling two-year shoot in the desert, while 2013’s “The Grandmaster” came out 15 years after Wong first began work on the project.
In addition to the movie version, Wong is also producing a 30-episode online series adaptation of the same novel for Tencent Video, which will also be called “Blossoms.” It will be directed by Shen Yan, helmer of the 2017 series “The First Half of My Life,” a popular Chinese TV serial adaptation of a Hong Kong romance novel. It was officially scheduled to begin its own six-month shoot in April, according to documents posted by Chinese media.