Selena Lee, Kenny Kwan, and Adam Pak lead the cast of “Tape,” a Cantonese-language remake of the Richard Linklater drama film that debuted in 2001. The new film is to be directed by Bizhan Tong (“Forensic Psychologist,” “The Audition”) with cameras set to roll next month in Hong Kong.
“Tape” tells the story of 3 best friends who, following an event at a graduation party that transforms their lives, reunite 15 years later where a case of blackmail forces them to confront a terrible secret from their past.
The original film starred Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Robert Sean Leonard and played at the Sundance, Toronto and Rotterdam festivals.
In Tong’s remake, Kwan, Lee, and Pak play the contemporary characters while Mason Fung, Summer Chan, and Angus Yeung portray their younger versions.
The script is written by Stephen Belber, Tong, Lee and Bonnie Lo, and is an adaptation of Belber’s own scripts from both the original film and stage play.
Producers on the film include Tong, Lee and Belber. It is a co-venture between Phoenix Waters Productions, Marvion, and Agog Films. No sales company has yet been determined.
“One difference between Linklater’s original and our iteration is the original used handheld DV cameras as a way to best tell the story with clear passion from all involved. Our version is also a passion project for everyone involved, but we want to reflect the world as it is today with a more expansive scope, showcasing both the role technology plays in our lives, while linking the past to the present, as we span different time periods. Because of this we also have a different way of shooting that reflects the story I want to tell, while placing constraints in the process to follow the spirit of the original,” Tong told Variety.
Other credits go to: director of photography, Colleen Kwok; Sarona Lo as production designer; Cheung Kwan Wah (“Caught in Time”, “Unleashed”) as editor; Guy Orlebar (ABS-CBN’s upcoming “Sellblock”) as associate producer; and Cindy Sin Yee Wong (“Now You See Me 2,” “The Confidence Man JP”) as line producer.
Hong Kong-Canadian actress, Lee has credits including “Barrack O’Karma” and Canadian series “Blood & Water.” Actor and singer Kwan’s screen credits include “The Twin Flower Legend” and Herman Yau’s upcoming “Customs Frontline.” Pak recently led the ViuTV series “Inevitable” and currently stars in “Breakout Brothers 3,” one of the top grossing Hong Kong films this year.
“I’m incredibly excited to be part of a project that Bizhan has pursued with integrity, passion, intelligence, and care – which the subject matter obviously requires,” said Belber in a statement. “Bringing on Selena and Bonnie as co-writers, to adapt the piece for the world today, has quite simply been invaluable, and I look forward to this very smart team guiding and ushering the work into our current moment.”
“Tape” is one of several projects Phoenix Waters Productions and Marvion have partnered on to produce in Hong Kong for local and international audiences. Tong’s previously announced zombie action thriller “Chungking Mansions” has had its shoot delayed till next year. Other projects in development include drama series “Crypto Keepers” and superhero series “Evos.” Tong’s crime series “Forensic Psychologist” led by Jeannie Chan is in advanced post-production with Endeavor Content handling global distribution and remake rights.