Culture\Film and TV

John Woo's tribute to Ken Takakura

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-07 07:24

John Woo's tribute to Ken Takakura

[Photo provided to China Daily]

With the Chinese version of Manhunt, screened at this year's Venice International Film Festival, the filmmaker salutes a Japanese star who influenced generations in China. Xu Fan reports.

Hong Kong filmmaker John Woo has been a longtime admirer of the late Japanese actor Ken Takakura. But Woo did not get a chance to work with Takakura, who died in 2014.

Now, with the Chinese version of Manhunt, which has been screened at the ongoing Venice International Film Festival, Woo uses the silver screen to honor a star who has influenced generations in China.

The original Japanese film, also called Manhunt, which is about a procurator who wants to clear his name, influenced Chinese ideas about screen heroes when it was released in 1978. And it made Takakura one of the most popular foreign stars in China back then.

A day before Woo and the Chinese cast of the new film flew to Italy to attend the screening, also the movie's global premiere, they attended an event in Beijing where it was announced that the film would hit Chinese mainland theaters on Nov 24.

While previous reports said that Woo's Manhunt is a Chinese remake of the Japanese action thriller by the same name, Woo says: "We have added a lot of new content as the copyright deal requires it.

"The movie and the novel are both set in the 1970s, but the Chinese version is a present-day story. Besides, the Chinese tale is more romantic," he says.

The Chinese movie, featuring mainland actor Zhang Hanyu, actress Qi Wei and Japanese actor Masaharu Fukuyama, is based on the Japanese novel Kimi Yo Funnu No Kawa O Watare (You Must Cross the River of Wrath) by Juko Nishimura.

Hong Kong-based Media Asia Films company bought the movie rights to the novel from its Japanese publisher Tokuma Shoten Publishing in 2015.

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