Andrew Lau a Bruce Lee fanatic?

Andrew Lau a Bruce Lee fanatic?

The driving force behind "Legend Of The Fist: The Return Of Chen Zhen": (l-r) Andrew Lau, Donnie Yen and producer Gordan Chan.

Q: How long did you come out with the whole concept?
A: I think it took about one whole year to come up with the whole storyline, but it's almost been two years since we've wanted to make a movie on Chen Zhen.

Q: Do you feel any pressure when filming "Legend Of The Fist: The Return Of Chen Zhen"?
A: Of course! We've had the 1972 version (Bruce Lee) and the 1994 version (Jet Li) of Chen Zhen, so definitely the pressure is there. We were very much alert and critical when making this 2010 version of Chen Zhen.

Q: Any new ideas that you've put into remaking it?
A: I feel that the story needs a revamp, an extension to the original ending in the 1972 movie. Our movie starts seven tears after that ending, suggesting that Chen Zhen wasn't killed by the Japanese army, since he fled to France to become a labourer during World War II. So our story is very much different from the original one. But we do preserve Bruce Lee's originality in the movie, like the white outfit that he wore, nunchucks fight scene at the end and the epic yells that he usually make when he fights!

Q: In the movie, Chen Zhen wears a black suit with a mask, just like a superhero! Why did you come up with a superhero image for him?
A: We came up with the 'superhero' image for him, just because it's a very Hong Kong cinematic tradition. It's like the old martial arts movies, where a skilled martial artist wears a black outfit, appearing only at night to uphold justice and chivalry. I know the audiences will compare the outfit to "The Green Hornet", but it's one of our ideas to pay tribute to Bruce Lee.

Q: You seem to be a huge fan of Bruce Lee.
A: Absolutely! I've been a fan of him since I was small; he made a great impact on me during my childhood years. I remembered when "Fist Of Fury" came out, we would go watch it several times. Since we had no money, my friends and I would hide in the bathroom after the movie ended, waited till everyone left the theatre, and come out again to watch the movie for another time! I used to have tons of Bruce Lee's posters in my room. Every day, I would wake up with his poster in front of me, rather than seeing my mother first! ( laughs) I was so obsessed about him till I took my mother's broomstick at home, sawed it into half and made it into a nunchuck!

Q: What's it like to work with Donnie Yen?
A: Working with him is pretty smooth sailing, and fast too! Normally action flicks take about 200 working days to finish principal photography, but we did it in 65 working days. He's very quick in coming up with fresh ideas for the movie, as he usually does fight choreography for lots of movies.

Q: Speaking of Donnie Yen, everyone seems to be talking about his 'naked' scene in the movie. How did it come about?
A: As usual, it's in the script! ( laughs) Donnie's very open about it, really. According to the story, Chen Zhen was captured and tortured by the Japanese. Naturally, they would want to humiliate him. I wanted to use a stuntman in his place, but he said: "The stuntman's body shape is not as good as mine, so I'll sacrifice my ass then!" He's very professional about it, and he didn't even request for more money!

Q: In the movie, Shu Qi performs four numbers in her role as a cabaret singer. How did you manage to get her sing?
A: It's all according to the script. Shu Qi plays a cabaret singer in the nightclub 'Casablanca', so naturally she has to sing. Shu Qi's a good singer, but she normally sings karaoke only (laughs). I wanted her to practice four songs; there are ballads, dance numbers and even a Japanese song. Shu Qi might be releasing an album soon, so I hope everyone supports her and this movie.

Q: Any plans on a sequel for "Legend Of The Fist: The Return Of Chen Zhen"?
A: It all depends on you guys (the audiences), really! We would have to see whether the box office is good enough to warrant a sequel. Of course, our story has so much space to expand, but it all boils down to how receptive moviegoers are for the movie right now.

Q: What's next?
A: I'll be working on another movie called "Beautiful Life", starring Shu Qi and Liu Ye. We've actually finished filming it, so I'll be focusing on post-production for the movie. Since we've went to many places like Venice, Toronto, Taiwan and China for "Legend Of The Fist: The Return Of Chen Zhen", so I need to take time off finishing my other projects.

Related Movies:
Legend Of The Fist: The Return Of Chen Zhen (Cantonese) (23 Sep 2010)

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