Hong Kong director Alan Mak (“Infernal Affairs,” “Overheard 2 and 3”) has brought together award-winning actors Francis Ng (“Drifting”) and Aaron Kwok (“Port of Call,” “Cold War 1 and 2”) in new Hong Kong crime thriller “Insider,” 22-years after the two shared the big screen together.

Produced by Tenky Tin for Emperor Motion Picture, the film also stars Simon Yam and Niki Chow. A start of production ceremony took place on Monday, attended by EMP supremo Albert Yeung. Kwok also uploaded images to his Instagram account. International sales are yet to be announced. 

Ng and Kwok last worked together in Gordon Chan-directed action thriller “2000 AD” (2000).

In “Insider,” Ng plays a police officer, who rubs up against a lawyer played by Kwok. But the two later became friends and collaborators to fight against the antagonist. The filming will involve large amounts of action and gunfight scenes.

The announcement of the new production also marks what could be a sign of recovery of the local film industry, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in both the production and exhibition sectors.

Cinemas were forced to close doors for a prolonged period in 2020 and again this year as the omicron variant caused a massive fifth wave in Hong Kong. Festive films that were originally scheduled for the Lunar New Year slots were suspended.

But as the disease moves into abeyance, film productions appear to be resuming. Another crime thriller feature from EMP, “War Customized,” directed by Herman Yau, is also in production. The film stars Jacky Cheung, Nicholas Tse, and Karena Lam, and is scheduled for release in 2023.

Completed projects are also returning to the screening pipeline. “Chilii Laugh Story,” originally a Lunar New Year comedy starring Sandra Ng and boy band Mirror member Edan Lui, now has a July slot. Crime thriller “Cyber Heist,” which was completed in 2020, is also expected to be released this year.