Sunday, December 09, 2007

MediaCorp Raintree Pictures to turn Chinese horror classic into movie

By Wong Yee Fong, Channel NewsAsia's China correspondent | Posted: 05 December 2007 1858 hrs

BEIJING: Singapore filmmaker MediaCorp Raintree Pictures will score a first in China when it brings a Chinese horror classic to the movie screens next year.

"Skin Lover" will be the first fantasy-horror movie approved by the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television for production.

The movie is based on "The Painted Skin", one of the most chilling stories from the Strange Tales of Liao Zhai. It depicts a hideous spirit that dons the skin of a beauty to prey on unsuspecting young men.

Slated to be released late next year, the movie will see a stellar cast that includes Vicky Zhao Wei, Zhou Xun, Sun Li and Chen Kun; Hong Kong action hero Donnie Yen; and Singapore-based Chinese actor, Qi Yuwu. Their roles are kept under wraps, for now.

Raintree Pictures Managing Director Daniel Yun said that the budget of the movie will be US$15 million.

He added: "Because of how movies in China have leap-frogged, the kind of special effects that are now available for big, epic Chinese films (will mean that)... if you have Liao Zhai, it will be like the 'Lord of the Rings' for China."

"This will be a new challenge for me, as there will be martial arts involved and I have to express myself using these actions," said MediaCorp artiste Qi Yuwu.

"I don't really spend a lot of time researching about it. Because Gordon Chan, our director, wanted to focus on a brand new Painted Skin, the storyline and characters are very different from the original one," said Hong Kong movie star, Donnie Yen. - CNA/ir

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