HBO Asia's viewership will be the fortunate ones to get a first-hand glimpse of what's to come this December with its original martial arts movie programming. For two nights in a row, the network and its Red subsidiary will premiere Master of the Drunken Fist: Beggar So and Master of the Shadowless Kick: Wong Kei-Ying on December 25 and 26, respectively, and two new promos aired last week that present something quite ambitious-looking between both.
There's definitely an appeal to the martial arts cinema base, and especially with central characters bearing their own legacies in martial arts and cinema. Legendary Hong Kong action auteur Corey Yuen certainly helps proliferate the work done here thusfar while details for both movies have been unveiled a few weeks ago in addition to their respective one-sheets, both which you can view below along with the promotional trailers just beneath.
SINGAPORE, OCTOBER 17, 2016 – The premiere dates of the inaugural HBO Asia Original anthology of martial arts action TV movies co-produced with China Movie Channel (CMC) were announced today. Both movies will premiere on the same day during primetime across Asia on HBO and RED BY HBO and in China on CMC’s premium subscription channel, CHC. “Master of the Drunken Fist: Beggar So” premieres at primetime this December 25 while “Master of the Shadowless Kick: Wong Kei-Ying” will debut a day later on December 26. This is the first time a China co-production movie will premiere on the same day in China as well as across the region. Both movies will also be available on HBO GO and HBO ON DEMAND in Asia, as well as on CCTV6 in China at a later date.
HBO Asia will be distributing1 the movies which were executive produced by Hong Kong action director, Corey Yuen (The Transporter, X-Men) outside of China while CMC handles distribution within the mainland. The trailers for both TV movies, which boast a cast of Chinese actors professionally trained in mixed martial arts, kung fu and muay thai, were revealed today.
The action-packed movies are set in ancient China at the end of the Qing dynasty. Shot in Chinese language in Hengdian, China, the movies will be dubbed in English with local language subtitles when they premiere in Asia on HBO. Concurrently, both movies will also debut at the same time on RED BY HBO in its original language with English subtitles. Both movies will air in original language in China.
The two TV movies were directed by Guo Jian-yong (国建勇) who specialises in martial arts movies and has choreographed the action sequences for Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), The Twins Effect II (2004), Red Cliff (2007) and Transporter I, II and III (2001; 2005; 2008).
The first movie in the anthology, “Master of the Drunken Fist: Beggar So”, stars Cao Jun (曹骏) [Lotus Lantern (宝莲灯); Magic Mobile Phone (魔幻手机)] as Beggar So Chan (苏乞儿). Due to a conspiracy, wealthy So Chan loses everything but is saved by the Beggars’ Sect. He learns the long lost martial art – Drunken Fist, to defeat the person who framed him.
Sun Hao-ran (孙浩然) [God of War, Zhao Yun (武神赵子龙)] stars in the titular role of Wong Kei-ying (黄麒英). A physician, he learns the legendary martial art – Shadowless Kick – to take down the ruthless and treacherous new governor of Canton in “Master of the Shadowless Kick: Wong Kei-Ying”.
Both movies were written by a team of writers from China, while award-winning Singaporean screenwriter, Koh Teng Liang, contributed to the screenplay of “Master of the Shadowless Kick: Wong Kei-Ying”.
These two anthology TV movies are one of four HBO Asia Original productions this year. The others include HBO Asia’s first returnable series HALFWORLDS Season 2 and HBO Asia’s first Taiwanese co-production, THE PSYCHIC.