Da Wu Sheng 大武生 (English title My Kingdom) might just be the most anticipated Chinese movie of 2011. A Sino-Hollywood collaboration, produced by Andre Morgan (Oscar-winning producer who made Million Dollar Baby), director Gao Xiao Sheng, famed screenwriter Zhou Jin Zi, with action choreography by Sammo Hung (famed actor and martial artist with 40 years of experience as a martial arts director for over 200 movies, and who trained with Jackie Chan under the same master and is his Shi Xiong – elder martial arts brother).
Da Wu Sheng will star former Super Junior member Han Geng, Fahrenheit member Wu Zun, and Barbie Hsu, along with a slew of seasoned actors playing the roles of the elders and antagonists. The movie is an action romantic period piece set in the early Republic (squee, my favorite period), and Andre Morgan has gone on record as saying that this is the best script he has read in his entire movie producing history. Them is BIG praise indeed.
Da Wu Sheng just wrapped production this week, and only a handful of stills are available as the set was was heavily concealed during its filming. The available plot synopsis is also very slim as the production wants to preserve the suspense. The story concerns a pair of brothers who are Da Wu Sheng (or the martial arts performers in a classic Chinese opera theater). The brothers embark on a journey seeking fame, love, and revenge, against a backdrop of a Shanghai theater troupe. Its a story about a love that may be fleeting or everlasting, expressed through modern and innovative martial arts interpretation as choreographed by Sammo Hung.
Some spoilers about the plot (don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled): Beijing opera performers have a strict edict – male and female performers cannot fall in love. Even more verboten is if both are in a teacher-pupil relationship. Two handsome Da Wu Shengs fall in love with one Dao Ma Dan (an actress playing a female role), and this Dao Ma Dan also has a forbidden love relationship with her teacher. And then the two handsome Wu Sheng force the teacher to commit suicide. What follows is a twisted and dramatic love and revenge triangle.
I am beyond interested in the movie, yet also beyond worried because of its main cast. Wu Zun is ridiculously gorgeous, and just as insanely bad of an actor. I can’t stand Barbie Hsu, which is a personal preference (she has AFS for me, check the glossary for definition), and I feel like she is always dragging down the energy of any scene. Just a side note, Mr. Koala saw a picture of her and went “wow, that chick looks like a classic Chinese first wife” and I about died of laughter, because that is exactly my problem with her. She looks and acts like a classic first wife in the olden times – the lady who marries the rich husband, and then is repeated shunted aside as he marries his concubines, and she ends up looking very very depressed. Barbie has a face that just looks woe-is-me for me.
I remain open to Barbie wowing me one of these days, but she has yet to do so. Hang Geng is the one shining light in this main cast, as I think he can’t possibly be as bad as Wu Zun. I don’t mind an idol cast doing a fun frothy movie like Butterfly Lovers, but I much prefer a movie like Da Wu Sheng having cast actors with a track record of substantive acting performances. But what is done is done, and I remain hopeful and optimistic that they’ll be just fine. Please movie gods, let the acting be just fine.
Da Wu Sheng is scheduled for a Fall 2011 premiere in Asia, followed by a theater run in the United States. I’m dying to watch a great epic C-movie, and the story, feel, and genre of Da Wu Sheng is so much my catnip. Wu Zun, Barbie, and Hang Geng all took Beijing opera and martial arts lessons for three months prior to the commencement of principle filming, so I know they are taking their roles seriously. Plus, they all look breathtaking in their period costumes. I’m such a sucker for pretty people in pretty costumes. Sigh.
I’m also chuckling a little at the possibility that Super Junior and Fahrenheit fangirls will be the first in line to watch a martial arts/Beijing opera/period epic movie. It’s kinda like Justin Beiber fans camping out for a Star Trek:TNG movie because their idol got cast as Wesley Crusher.
Seriously Hangeng and Wu zun couldn’t have been better cast. Not because of their acting talents but their resemblence. I am a huge Hangeng fan and I had always thought he reminded me of Wu zun. He had said that he wants to continue his path in acting. Now they’re together in one movie. Gods must be hearing my prayers! lolz. I never like Barbie either. She’s supposely one of the most famous actresses of this time.
Well even if the acting is bad, i’ll just let it pass and think how handsome they are. lolz
I was praying for Han Geng to star in a movie too! And I’ve always thought that he and Wu Chun should be cast together (even as brothers)! Both our prayers must’ve have reached God!
I can’t wait to see this movie because ever since I became a fan of Han Geng (a year ago after he was “leaving” SuJu) I anticipated for him in movies/dramas more than in music. I hope they’ll continue to cast Han Geng in movies or dramas in the near future! :))
I actually like/enjoyed Wu Chun in 14 Blades. Hangeng I don’t know much about but they as brothers are very believable. Barbie – I don’t like her but I loved Summer’s Desire because she does have a feisty sex appeal & sensual femininity and her acting is good. I look forward to this movie and Wu Chun better show some abs which i don’t remember seeing in 14 Blades.
P.S. I see Barbie as the 9-tail fox who likes to entice many men away from their wives just to show that she can. Her figure is just okay but she really is powerfully sexy…and I’m not her fan even.
ah how nice ^^ a post about an upcoming chinese movie ^^
the cast is quite meh for me too…
>wu zun IS one of the most awkward “actors” around… his perf. might be even worse than KHJ’s Jihoo back in the days… (or on the same level… anyways… BAD is the keyword indeed) Fortunately for us KHJ improved (yes, as a true fangirl, always need to back him up ^^)… don’t know if Wu zun will/can/did
>Barbie is also quite annoying to me!! although i’ve seen her in a HongKong movie with Louis Koo called ‘connected’ and she kind of surprised me with her perf. (i’ve only seen her in Meteor Garden before… let’s just say that that was acting rookie-style ;))
>Hang Geng…. i like super junior but not particulairly his fan. don’t think much of his dancing and singing (his live singing was kind of >_< for me) and when he left SuJu… well that was just that for me… So actually not anticipating him either…
BUT having said that.. your little praises did make me curious (costumes, scenery, cinematography)… ^^ so who knows i might be anticipating this in the end 🙂
Oh this excites me.
For one, I teach high school history and my specialty is Chinese History, therefore this movie already places high on my must see movie list.
Second, I love Chinese folk and opera music. It’s so powerful, it does something to my soul.
Though I suck at math: history music martial arts hot people-so-so acting= WIN!!
What happened to all my plus signs?
I actually like Barbie in that drama she did with Show Luo. But it’s highly possible I was blinded by my love for Show.. He’s on my Taiwanese MINE list. XD
More on topic, this sounds pretty epic. :O
Did you see her in Mars?
What am I saying?!? Everybody has watched Mars. ^^
I actually hated Mars. Made it through 3 or 4 eps before I gave up and watched Devil Beside You instead. This was back in my early drama-watching days haha.
….are you referring to Corner with Love?..I’d have to agree that Show Luo’s antics was more of what kept me glued to my TV screen…kinda got irritated with Barbie at some points in the drama…especially when she was acting all “princess like and weepy”……MINE list huh?….mine would be Mikey He I guess…especially during his Devil Beside You Days….he kinda reminds me of Oguri Shun…not pretty boy handsome but appealing to look at nonetheless…oops, I apologize for going off topic……..
Haha yeah. Show’s all kinds of adorable there, I loved him. And Barbie was actually pretty decent; her character was annoying at times, but I never felt any animosity towards the actress herself and thought she did just fine.
I’m not a huge Mike fan, although I do like him in a few things. He doesn’t really do much for me though. *shrug* I love Show because he’s multi-talented and a total goofball, and I think he’d be a blast to hang out with.
Yes, Wu Zhun is quite a stunner but NO good acting chops though. Just hope he’ll surprise me although I must say he was quite alright in 14 blades.
Thanks ockoala for your positive comments….though not quite taken in by the leads..
Will definitely catch this ‘cos of old timers like Samo and Yuen Biao [he’s in that “nice funny guy who also can nail fighting scenes pretty well” category]. Am not quite impressed with Barbie Hsu in all her work except Meteor Garden.
LOLling forever at the image of Justin Beiber as Wesley Crusher.
Gorgeous stills, though.
When you said “Hang Geng” I was like, Surely not…? But no, it is Super Junior’s own Hang Geng. My goodness. Still, the stills do look gorgeous.
hey it`s not farenheit it`s fahrenheit!!!!!!!! wu chun is sooo handsome his acting isn`t that bad either.
Wow.. I am quite surprised to see many do not like Barbie Hsu. I watched her in Meteor Garden n Summers Desire. Her acting has improved a lot. I have never liked Wu Chun. I found his performance quite stiff. However I am looking forward to watch this movie mostly bcos tis is recommended by Koala n Barbie H is in it.
I love Meteor Garden, Barbie if I could say played better than Boys Over Flower Ku Hye Sun, except for the second part, I like it when Barbie looks helpless, dumb and strong in Meteor Garden, yup I’m a Super Junior Fan but I don’t know this guy….Mars was totally a feel bad drama psychopath bummer that has no climatic element…Corner with Love I love Show Luo totally funny and charming…. As for Chun yup emotions has to be worked up but action moves on 14 Blades was remarkable compared with Butterfly Lovers….he can get away with the action and looks but acting well long way to go!!!!
@ Mrs. Koala, please tell your readers to click “I’m attending” for this event! http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=161977693872990
Apparently, they need 2000 people to respond in order for them to show My Kingdom in North America…