About ten years ago, Hong Kong star Stephen Chow burst into the consciousness of many American film fans with his sports comedy Shaolin Soccer, which was quickly followed by the Kung Fu Hustle. But after 2008’s science-fiction fable CJ7, Chow seemed to have gone radio silent with no further work starring the actor forthcoming.
But following the success of his directorial effort Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons earlier this year, it is being announced that Chow will be returning to in front of the cameras for an untitled thriller.
The project is still in the early stages of development, but it is set to be co-produced by the Thai studio GHT with a budget that will fall somewhere between $2.5 million to $6.5 million. And while it will sport an all Chinese cast, it will be directed by Thai director Banjong Pisanthanakun, who broke Thailand’s all-time domestic box office record last year with his horror-comedy Pee Mak Phra Khanong. For GHT, the co-producing deal allows the studio to get a film into Chinese theaters by passing the country’s strict limitations on the number of foreign films allowed to be imported per year. Just 34 non-Chinese productions can enter the country and many of those slots are taken by Hollywood product.
I have to admit that I am anxious to see the results of this collaboration. Chow approached Banjong about working together stating that he was a big fan of the work the director was doing. And while I love what Chow did as a director on his films like Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, it will be interesting to see him tackle something that is outside of the usual sphere his work resides.