Andy Cheng has received rave reviews as a bus scene fight choreographer in Marvel’s recent “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” The scene took about a year to plan and implement, and Simu Liu’s previously hidden skills worked to show off to an open-mouthed avocado fan, and Marvel released it as a standalone YouTube clip.
Cheng is now working hard to hire the next Asian superhero as action director, stunt coordinator and fight choreographer in “Nights of the Zodiac: St. Seya” as a live action adaptation of the Japanese animated property “Saint Seya”. The shooting of the film ended last week in Budapest, Hungary.
We don’t have the time or available budget like ‘Shang Chi’. But the goal is exactly the same, ”Cheng said Diversity. “Creating a unique thing that is inherent in Asian culture and has universal appeal.”
The property began as a comic book series (manga) in the 1990s, featuring five mysterious warriors known as saints, dressed in special attire and vowed to protect the reborn Greek goddess Athena, who was threatened by other Olympian gods. The Toy Company has converted it into animated series in various formats (anime) and three anime movies.
The move to give “Nights” a live action dimension is also supported by Toi, one of the oldest and most powerful Japanese movie studios. The company considers “Nights” to be the first part of a film franchise that could run six or seven separate movies. It has come up with an uncertain budget of around 60 60 million.
Still in production, “Knights” has already secured global distribution (excluding Japan, China and the Middle East) through the Hollywood studio Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition.
Working from a script by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuyken, the film is directed by Thomas Baginsky, a Polish animator and special effects S, who previously worked on The Witcher. It stars Shaun Bean, Famke Janssen and Madison Iseman, as well as Pegasus Seya, a 24-year-old Mackenzie.
McKenzie is the son of the late Japanese action star Sonny Chibar, who was born in Los Angeles, and to this day his career has been largely in Japan. His breakout was in the “Chihayafuru” action trilogy, with recent highlights including the introduction to “Rurauni Kenshin: The Final” and its previous largest English language title, “Pacific Rim: Rebellion.”
Hong Kong-born Cheng, who has been part of the Jackie Chan stunt team for many years and has credits with “Rush Hour” and the Netflix action hit “6 Underground”, says the actor and the new role together will launch the next Asian superhero. And lead McKenzie to great international stardom.
“McNu is a complete package. She’s handsome enough to work with a little makeup, a great body, and, thanks to her father, she’s been into martial arts since she was a child,” said Cheng. McKenzie acted in English as a local speaker.
Cheng says there are places in the film world for multiple Asian superheroes and those outside the Marvel Comics universe. “I do not know where they came from. Superheroes are important for all races. These are something for kids to watch. But Asia is under-represented in this segment, ”said Cheng, who believes the industry is already changing its outlook. “China is now the largest box office market in the world. Asia is where the money is. ”
Cheng says “Knights” are Asian-made, not Hollywood products. At the same time the producers and screenwriters have been careful not to overwhelm the western audience by throwing every detail of the fantasy from the comics and series on the screen.
“This is definitely the first movie where we will introduce the protagonist. We deliberately try not to make the story too big, ”Cheng said. “I was given a huge amount of creative freedom, even as an editor, and it’s a responsibility that I take seriously.
“We chose to create a look close to the original material, and a story line that adapted to the original. But the action is not the same. It can’t be as fast as it is shown on the comic page. ”
“In the West, martial arts films have long been seen as the subject of B-movies. ‘Shang-chi’ can help change that. It was like the first bullet for Asian film culture. ‘Nights of the Zodiac’ could be a double tap, ”Cheng said, adding that the franchise has no current plans other than working on the next film.