Asia News Round-Up: Donnie Yen's "Iceman 3D" & "Kung Fu Killer"; Chen Kaige's "The Monk"

Donnie Yen in "Kung Fu Killer"

Now that the Winter season in China have came and gone, it’s time for Spring, which means it’s time for yet another Donnie Yen movie (Yup, he has a movie for every season).

Opening in April, The Iceman 3D is a remake of a minor 80s action-comedy that starred Yuen Biao.

The part martial arts epic, part modern day thriller is about a Chinese general from ancient China who gets frozen during a battle with an enemy and wakes up hundred of years later in modern Hong Kong.

The good news is Yuen has a role in the new film, too. The two action stars, Yen and Yuen (confused yet?), last worked together on Circus Kids in 1994.

Because Yen has done a bunch of martial arts epics and modern day thrillers, The Iceman 3D sounds like an interesting tweener.

The film’s budget ballooned from $13M to $33M during the course of production. Because Yen’s solo efforts have only averaged about $25M at the box office in China, the studio decided to split the film in two to better recoup the film’s cost. The second installment will be released in late Fall.

So we got Spring and Fall covered. In the Summer, Yen has Kung Fu Killer, which has an interesting premise. China’s leading action star plays a cop who must track down a serial killer of martial arts masters. Say no more, I’m there.

Joining Yen in the cast of Kung Fu Killer are a couple of Ip Man alumni, Xing Yu (The Wrath of Vajra) and Fan Siu-Wong (Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky). Sounds good to me.

Also starring in both of those films is Lost in Thailand’s Wang Baoqiang, who’s in the news yesterday because he’s been cast as the lead in Chen Kaige’s newly announced martial arts epic The Monk. I wasn’t too excited by that news initially until I did a little bit of Googling on the star.

I only knew Wang as a comedic actor. But I’ve just learned from Wikipedia that he’s been practicing martial arts since he was eight, and although he had always wanted to be an action star, he has only appeared in one fight film: 2011’s Choy Lee Fut Kung Fu.

Well, Wang’s finally putting his lifelong training into good use this year. I guess he can actually perform more than that one fatal move he hilariously demonstrates in Lost in Thailand.

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