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Lee Chong Wei biopic

Writer: Peter Chai


Lee Chong Wei, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic silver medallist.

9 Aug – While we are still celebrating national badminton hero Lee Chong Wei's illustrious achievement at the recent London Olympics, local director Shafiq Yusof Haslam who would make his mark at the local movie scene with his romantic flick "SAM" this 16 August, had already started thinking of producing a biographical film about the Olympic silver medallist.

With a vast filmmaking expertise available through his father; local legendary filmmaker Datuk Yusof Haslam, and his brother Syamsul Yusof, the ambitious 19-year-old revealed that he had been thinking of filming a biopic on a national athlete and Lee was one of the first who came to mind.

The young filmmaker plans to bring forth the untold story behind the national sports icon to the silver screen as he wants to present audiences with Lee's bittersweet experiences from his younger days to his rough journey in becoming a badminton pro.

"I had thought about doing a film about a sports figure. I did have an idea on Datuk Lee Chong Wei, but I haven't thought about it seriously," said Shafiq to Malaysian Digest recently.


Shafiq Yusof Haslam, Malaysia's youngest director had thought of making a biopic of Lee Chong Wei.

Based on the lackluster reception received from biopics of Malaysian figures like Tunku Abdul Rahman and Datuk Mokhtar Dahari, Shafiq was questioned for his idea in making a film about Lee and the casting decision, however, he was quick to form an opinion on the matter.

"I think if you want to make a film, especially a biography, it doesn't mean the chosen main cast has to be a person who have achieved the highest of success. Instead, I think that if the person succeeds in touching our hearts, it is definitely going to be interesting. Just as Chong Wei who has successfully touched the hearts of all Malaysians young and old," Shafiq explained.

Meanwhile, MIG's David Teo and director Raja Azmi who also had something to say on the matter, revealed they had no plans at the moment to carry out film projects on Lee.

"To produce such a film would be costly and it would be hard to predict how well it will be received. Chong Wei may be hot now as millions of viewers had watched him recently from home when he was competing, but you can't compare this to coming to the cinemas to pay for a RM10 ticket," said Teo.

"... Dalam Botol" director Raja Azmi is planning to make a film on the legendary Sidek brothers instead.

"I've never thought about producing a film about Lee Chong Wei. Besides, now I'm planning to make a film about the Sidek children (Sidek brothers)," said Raja Azmi.

Perhaps before witnessing Lee's third attempt for a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, fans might have the chance to watch a local production featuring the inspiring story of the national badminton hero in cinemas.


Cinema Online, 09 August 2012

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