As reported previously, legendary martial arts action director Lau Kar Leung has begun working on “Heroes of Shaolin." Lau, who has a literal ‘lifetime of achievements' and is often credited with being the most influential director/choreographer in martial arts filmmaking, has deemed this his last major production, a passing of the torch to the next generation of martial arts cinema makers. Known for his use of his family's traditional martial arts (Hung Family Style) and his disdain for ‘wire work,' Lau's movie will propose intricate choreography no longer seen in today's martial arts films as well as his customary messages of virtue through the martial arts.
In order to make this vision a reality, Lau has reunited his “heroes” from the golden days of Shaw Brothers
, time in which he gave us his greastest masterpieces. Gordon Liu
(a.k.a. Lau Kar-Fei), undoubtedly one of the Shaw Brothers
most recognized talents, is already on board but two others capital members of the Lau Team
have now joined the production as well.
First of them is Hsio Hou
(Siu Hou). Star of Lau's 1979 film “Mad Monkey Kung Fu
”, he was at one time considered the best acrobat in the Hong Kong film industry. Originally a Chinese Opera performer discovered by Lau, Hsio Hou's onscreen performance as Lau's ‘Monkey Style Student' was simply remarkable. He continued demonstrating his magnificent martial arts and acrobatic ability in Lau's later films such as “My Young Auntie
” “Legendary Weapons of China
” and as Gordon Liu's belligerent student in “Disciples of the 36th Chamber
.”. He became also a key member of the team as an assistant choreographer for his Sifu along side Ching Chu
. After the Shaw Brothers era was over, he moved behind the scenes, doing action choreography, and occasionally graces the silver screen with a guest appearance. He returns now to take part in this remarkable project.
My Young Auntie
The second one is one of the best villains of Kung Fu Cinema's, Johnny Wang Lung Wei. Wang portrayed the characters he played with uncanny kung-fu skills, even though he lost most of his on screen battles. He debuted in the 1974 Shaw Bros. production “Shaolin Martial Arts”. His performance in that film landed him in an incredible number of other projects for the Shaw Brothers over the years. In “Martial Club” (another of Lau's films) Wang had the opportunity to finally play one of the good guys and pits his skills against Gordon Liu, playing a young Wong Fei-hong. The finale between the two in an increasingly narrow alley, utilizing different Kung-Fu styles is pure movie magic.
Other former Shaw actors are coming on board making “Heroes of Shaolin” a star studded reunion of legendary martial artists all coming together under their former “Pops” (as Lau is affectionately referred to) once again to make history. Lau's visions have dazzled audiences for years and this production is gearing up to be nothing less than spectacular.
The film is slated for production around mid-2007 in the Chinese Mainland and the Weinstein Company has already shown some interest for it.
Source: Burning Shaolin Production