Hong Kong — Hong Kong actor Sammo Hung will be directing the biopic of Seven Little Fortunes which is the famous Peking Opera troupe of child entertainers.
It included Jackie Chan and Hung himself and would go on to become Hong Kong action titans of the 1980s. Based on Variety, the movie which is also named Seven Little Fortunes has Hung as “chief director”. Yuen Biao who is fellow Seven Little Fortunes alum will be the executive producer.
The production would be headlined by Tony Leung Ka-Fai and it is said to cost around RMB50-100 million (SGD10.5-SGD20.9 mil) and shooting will schedule to start in Mar 2022.
A mainland Chinese cast has been rounded up by the producers to play the young version of the future action stars. Yu Jim-Yuen, the master of the China Drama Academy, a Peking Opera school in Hong Kong in the 1960s was responsible for putting together the Seven Little Fortunes. The troupe later expanded to as many as 70 students.
Other famous members besides Chan, Hung and Yuen are Yuen Wah (Kung Fu Hustle), Yuen Qiu (Kung Fu Hustle), and action choreographers Corey Yuen (The Transporter) and Yuen Woo-Ping (The Matrix).
The students had to adopt a stage name in honour of their sifu once accepted as students, and prepare for a life of back-breaking hardship training under the tough task-master, as reported by 8days.sg.
In his 1998 autobiography, I am Jackie Chan, Chan — who also went by Yuen Lau — wrote, “Master believed in just three things: discipline, hard work and order. Discipline came quickly and painfully, measured in strokes of the cane.
“Hard work was the rule of the day — a few minutes of stolen rest often meant an hour of extra practice for any unlucky students caught slacking off. And order: order was imposed by a strict line of command that placed Master at the top (never to be disobeyed or disrespected).”
In 1997, Master Yu passed away at the age of 92.
Previously told in 1988’s Painted Faces, The Seven Little Fortunes story starred Hung as Master Yu and more recently, in one of the short films Hung directed in the 2021 anthology film Septet: The Story of Hong Kong.
Yuen Biao has said that Seven Little Fortunes — the winner of seven Golden Horse Awards, including Best Feature Film, Director and Original Screenplay — offers a different take on their lives under Master Yu.
The star of such ’80s classics as Project A and Righting Wrongs told Variety, “It’s not a remake of [Painted Faces]. It is a story about us, Seven Little Fortunes, our master and his relationship with us, told from our perspective.” /TISG
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