Jackie Chan's (成龍) Jackie & JJ Productions has added big-budget martial arts action film Legendary Amazons (楊門女將) to its sales slate at Berlin's European Film Market.
Shooting under the direction of Frankie Chan (陳勳奇) is underway in Inner Mongolia and will wrap this month, setting up delivery for summer or early autumn.
The story is derived from a series of books and plays referred to as Generals of the Yang Clan (楊家將) and recounts the unflinching loyalty of four generations of warriors from one Northern Han family. It has twice been made as TV series aired by rival Hong Kong free-to-air broadcasters TVB and ATV (1998). It is also the basis for a rival film project directed by Ronny Yu (于仁泰).
Chan's $16 million Amazons (previously titled Lady Generals of the Yang Family) boasts the biggest role in several years for Cecilia Cheung (張柏芝), the actress who until hit by a sex scandal, regularly polled as one the favourite HK leading ladies among foreign audiences. It also stars martial arts legend Cheng Pei-pei (鄭佩佩). Other leading roles go to Ritchie Ren (任賢齊), Liu Xiaoqing (劉曉慶) and Xiao Mingyu (肖明玉). Martial arts action is choreographed by Wu Bin (吳彬), a mentor to Jet Li (李連杰).
Production is through Jackie Chan International Cinema and Jackie & JJ Productions, which will be operating from Berlin's Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Its slate includes other Jackie Chan-produced titles; historical epic 1911 (now in post-production), contemporary romantic comedy The Break-up Artist (分手達人) and last year's Jackie Chan-starring epic Little Big Soldier (大兵小將).
Frankie Chan is a veteran director and music arranger. Amazons will mark his first film in cinemas since youth drama IQ Dudettes (辣椒教室) in January 2000.