Silver Hawk

(a.k.a. Masked Crusader)

Release Date:  01/22/2004, (U.S. DVD release: 09/27/05)
Production Companies:  Mythical Films/Han Entertainment,
Media Asia Films, Tianjin Film Studio
Distributors:  Media Asia, Arclight Films
Language:  two versions: English;
Cantonese mixed with English and Mandarin
Producers:  Michelle Yeoh, Thomas Chung
Director:  Jingle Ma
Cinematographer:  Chan Chi Ying, Jingle Ma
Art Director:  Hai Chung Man
Costume Designer:  Dora Ng
Screenplay:  Jingle Ma, Susan Chan
Editing:  Kwong Chi Leung
Music:  Peter Kam Pau-Tat
Stunt Coordinator:  Ailen Sit Chun Wai
Make-up:  Man Yun Ling
Category:  Action/Thriller/Sci-Fi
Budget:  US$ 15 million
Cast:  (in credit order. surnames are in color)
Lulu Wong/Silver Hawk .... Michelle Yeoh
Rich Man .... Richie Jen
Alexander Wolfe .... Luke Goss
Kit .... Brandon Chang
Jane .... Li Bingbing
Morris .... Michael Jai White
Professor Ho Chung .... Chen Daming
Lisa .... Lisa S.
Mimi .... Wei Lai
Lulu (child) .... Wu Shijie
Rich (child) .... Lu Wei

Awards & Nominations: 
10th Huabiao Awards:   Best Co-production Film
7th Changchun Film Festival Nominations:
Best Actress (Michelle Yeoh)
Best Special Effects, Best Boxoffice

Official Website

Masked Crusaders (Hollywood Reporter 05/20/03)

Yeoh's Silver Hawk soars over Sars hurdles (SCMP 06/03/03)

Michelle Yeoh and the Silver Hawk Crew Touch down in Beijing (Beijing Portal 05/12/03)

Silver Hawk's Seven Extremities (Nanfang City Daily 10/11/03)

Service with a smile (The Star 01/22/04)

Yeoh's Year (SCMP 01/25/04)

Leaping Lulu, Nimble Yeoh (The Nation 01/30/04)

Film Review: Silver Hawk (MUSICOMH, 2004)

Film Review: Silver Hawk (Kungfu Cinema, 2004)

Silver Hawk:
|Posters|   |Promotion Photos|   |Production & News Photos|   |Video|   |Based On|   |Film Index|

Silver Hawk News: 
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(06/05/11) Watch Silver Hawk on YouTube   (01:39:27)

(03/14/06) Exclusive photos from the "Fighting Goddess - Michelle Yeoh Night". Photos were taken by Goy (by cell-phone) who attended the event on March 3rd in Tokyo. Thanks Goy! (The person next to Michelle was the interpreter.)

Photos from "Michelle Yeoh Night", March 3rd, Japan

(03/08/06) Some photos of Michelle at the stage greetings at the "Michelle Yeoh Night" on March 3rd, from Japanese blogs.

(02/28/06) A "Fighting Goddess - Michelle Yeoh Night" is being held in Tokyo on March 3rd as a part of Hong Kong Cinema Festival. Silver Hawk is to be screened at the event. And Michelle herself will be attending and meeting with fans.
      Location: Virgin Toho Cinema Roppongi Hills, Tokyo
      Time: Friday, March 3rd 2006, 19:30
Ticket sale starts at March 1st.

(02/28/06) Japanese Silver Hawk DVD will be released on April 7th.

(12/14/05) Japanese Silver Hawk Official site published an interview (in Japanese) with Michelle when she was in Japan last month. She talked about filmmaking, the Great Wall bike jump, role of superheros, SARS, and also filming of Sunshine.

Photos from Silver Hawk interview in Japan

(12/08/05) Japanese Silver Hawk promotion team managed to grab Michelle for 90 minutes for an interview during her busy promotion of Memoirs of a Geisha last month in Japan,

(12/02/05) Japanese Silver Hawk flyers

(09/15/05) Silver Hawk will be released theatrically in Japan on December 10th - the exact same day when Memoirs of a Geisha releases there. (Japanese Silver Hawk Official site)

This month, Silver Hawk DVD will be released in both North America and U.K.:
    Region 1 (U.S./Canada) September 27
    Region 2 (U.K.) September 26
Hmm, does it mean the film will not have theatrical releases in these regions??

Photo: Silver Hawk U.S. DVD Cover

(08/05/05) Silver Hawk is having a theatrical release in Italy, starting today - August 5th.

(01/10/05) Michelle was nominated as Best Actress for her role in Silver Hawk at the 7th Changchun Film Festival which opens today in China. Established in 1992, Changchun Film Festival is one of the major film festivals in China. As a competition film at the festival this year, Silver Hawk was also nominated in the categories for its computer special effects and boxoffice value.

(01/03/05) "Xin Hua" news (China) published a list of the ten most powerful Chinese films in 2004. Silver Hawk is one of them. From the box figure, Silver Hawk ranked no. 7.

(08/29/04) Congratulations! Silver Hawk was awarded the "Best Co-production Film" at China's Huabiao Awards.

"Huabiao Awards" is one of the major film awards in mainland China and the highest governmental honors for Chinese films. Created in 1956, it was originally called "Government Awards". In 1994, it was renamed as "Huabiao Awards" (directly translated as Palace Columns Awards). It is an annual award in recognition of the excellent Chinese films and filmmakers.

The Touch received the same honor two years ago.

(05/11/04) Arclight Films, the sales agent of Silver Hawk, will screen the film at Cannes market. Monday May 17th, BORY K, 14:00.

(04/16/04) Official Silver Hawk DVD was released by Mega Star (Hong Kong) on April 16th. All Regions/NTSC (on the cover it's listed as Region 3 but it's in fact NOT region coded - at least not for this shipment). DVD information and cover pics.

(03/15/04) Photos from the Silver Hawk Asian premiere tour are added in "Production & News Photos" (January 13th to 27th).

(02/23/04) Silver Hawk is scheduled to be released in Taiwan on March 19th.

According to a Variety article (link at News section), the film will open in Korea in March, Japan in April and Europe this summer. A North American distribution deal is in the works.

(02/14/04) Silver Hawk Official Site updates: premiere tour videos (in Breaking News). Direct download links can be found at the Video section of this page.

(02/11/04) Silver Hawk will have two screenings at AFM (The 24th Annual American Film Market, Feb. 25 - Mar. 3):
      Friday 2/27 3:00, AMC     Sunday 2/29 11:00, AMC
Santa Monica, California.

(02/02/04) Back to L.A. from my two week trip to Beijing. While in there, I watched four more times of Silver Hawk on big screen, and, bought a copy of DVD. Yes, the official (Mandarin dubbed version) DVD/VCD of Silver Hawk was released in Mainland China within a week of the theatrical release of the film. Meanwhile the film is still showing in theatres. Apparently it's a new way of fighting against piracy. It's very common in Mainland that a movie is in theatre and on video at the same time these days. The prices of official DVD/VCD's have been dropped too. A set of DVD is being sold for less than U.S.$2. Unbelievable.

I really enjoy this film myself and can't get enough of it. It's light, entertaining, and serves well as a Chinese New Year film. It makes up all the action I missed from The Touch. I have heard that the film was not a hit in Hong Kong (it was released in a relatively small number of theatres in Hong Kong, wonder why). According to Asian Box Office it opened at no.5 in Hong Kong's box and was no.7 last week. On the other hand, Silver Hawk has been doing very well in Mainland China and critics are positive. Hope the film gets a release in U.S. before too long!

Here I'd like to share a letter from producer Thomas Chung, who just returned to Hong Kong with Michelle from Bangkok - they had been at the 2004 Bangkok International Film Festival (Jan. 22 - Feb. 2). Silver Hawk premiered in Bangkok last week. (Photos from the premieres will come later.) In the letter Thomas expressed his thought on the disappointing performance of Silver Hawk in Hong Kong.

...I'd start by saying if I could do Silver Hawk again, I will do the same again. Could we make it better? Of course, that goes for every other film. But all-in-all, we have balanced the risk and taste in different markets and audience and found what we felt was the right mix. Of course we will try to please most of the audience most of the time.

Hong Kong is a market that is worth around 1% in value in the global scene. Naturally we were hoping the film would work in HK too but there are many elements that makes a film works, box-office wise. One of those is marketing and promotion. I'll leave it at that. Hong Kong's ills in moviegoing is indeed a very complex problem... but a problem it indeed is. There are many good movies which cannot make it to HK cinemas as the movie-going base and culture is extremely shallow. Blockbuster just pulled out of HK, it is a clear sign that the HK market, as a whole, is structurally sick from exhibition to video. Silver Hawk is performing quite well in other markets from China to Malaysia through much better marketing and strong words of mouth. International buyers love the film too.
(February 2, 2004)

(01/14/04) Silver Hawk Asian tour has started. Michelle, Richie Jen, Li Bingbing, Brandon Chang, Jingle Ma and Thomas Chung attended the Beijing premiere on Jan. 13th and Shanghai premiere on 14th.

At the press conferences, Michelle talked about her unforgettable experience of flying the bike over The Great Wall. She said before her jump, the stunt coordinator kept reminding her to make sure she reaches the safe speed they had measured. She didn't think of anything during the actual sequence. All she remembered was director Jingle Ma shouted right before she started: "Remember to smile!" So she smiled, and did the jump.

When Jingle Ma and Thomas Chung talked about the idea of the bike jump with Michelle, they did not expect her to do it herself. It was Michelle who volunteered to do it. Both Ma and Chung went quiet for about half a minute when they heard Michelle said she would do it without using stunt double.

Filming with a panda cub was another exciting experience for Michelle. They met the baby panda four months before. By the time when the actual shooting began, the panda had grown to 100 pounds. There was a scene in which Michelle was supposed to hold the panda. But the result was the panda was actually holding Michelle!

Richie Jen said the hardest part for him during the filming was running and kicking while wearing high heels. In a scene he cross-dressed as a woman. He said it was very hard to balance on those shoes and as a result he got more than ten blisters on his feet. That scene took a whole day to shoot in a public park. It was embarrassing when he needed to go to the restroom - he had to send his assistant to clear the road and stand guard.

Li Bingbing said her role (Jane) almost got killed early in the film. She arrived at Shanghai from a TV shooting in Hong Kong. Because of SARS she had to be placed in quarantine for 14 days. Director Jingle Ma told her in order to catch the schedule they had to "kill" her and let her die at the beginning of the film. She said she started to cry. She really wanted this role and trained hard for it. Eventually director found a way to adjust the shooting schedule and kept her alive.

The film will be released on January 22nd, the Chinese New Year Day.

Photos from Beijing and Shanghai Press Conferences

Video from Beijing Press conference: (Windows Media, 16:26, in Mandarin)
    High     Low

And - the message board of the Silver Hawk Official Site is up!

(01/09/04) I-HAVE-SEEN SILVER HAWK!! :-)

Great actions. Great visuals. Great music/soundtrack. Very entertaining. Michelle looks as energetic, graceful, etc. as ever!

Thank you, producers - Michelle and Thomas, Philip Hemnell of Han and Andy Abrams of Arclight, for giving us the privilege of being one of the first people to see this Michelle's latest film.

Lucky fans from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand will see the film later this month. The film will also be released in Taiwan in March, in Japan this coming summer, and in Korea sometime by the summer. It will be released in other regions at later dates.

(01/07/04) "Oriental Daily" (Hong Kong. Jan 7) has a story on making of Silver Hawk - Michelle's motorbike jump. Sixteen seconds. One take. Our heroic Michelle!

It was a nice weather day. Besides the filmmakers, there were also about 1000 locals came to witness this special moment. Everything was ready. Michelle went on the bike, took a deep breath, raced through the ramp temporarily built for the filming. After several ear piercing roars, with everyone holding their breathes, Michelle and her BMW rose in the air and flew over The Great Wall! The applause and cheers were thunderous when she landed safely. The smoking motorcycle, after a few seconds of the landing, caught fire.

Reportedly, when director Jingle Ma and co-producer Thomas Chung first brought up the idea of the bike jumping over The Great Wall, Michelle asked: "Flying a bike over The Great Wall? No wires? No special effect? Has anyone done it before?" When the answer she heard was no, Michelle said: "Great. I'll do it. No wires. No special effect. No stunt double. It would be an one time in life experience."

After successfully receiving the approval from Chinese authorities to shoot the scene in the part of The Great Wall at Qin Huang Dao, crew members flew to the location and prepared for three months. The motorcycle stunt alone cost HK$5 million .

Photos on the motorbike jump

(01/05/04) Malaysian fans - your chance of meeting Silver Hawk!
"The Star": High-kicking Yeoh's back

(01/02/04) Tentative Silver Hawk premiere dates:
    Jan 13 Beijing
    Jan 14 Shanghai
    Jan 15 Guangzhou
    Jan 16 Kuala Lumpur
    Jan 17 Penang
    Jan 19 Hong Kong
    Jan 27 Bangkok

Taiwan "Energy Band" performs the Chinese version of the title song - Hawk Is Flying.

The film will be released in Taiwan in March.

Silver Hawk Official Site: new behind scene videos (in "Breaking News").

(12/20/03) Silver Hawk Official Site updates: new trailer (the Cantonese version has English subtitles), photo gallery, wallpaper, and behind scene video clips (in "Breaking News").

(12/11/03) News from Hong Kong: Silver Hawk comics series will be coming out in January. More than 100,000 copies will be hitting the Southeast Asian market early next month. Culturecom Holdings Ltd., the publisher that handles the comics, also plans to publish the comics at some journals before the books come out. The publisher thinks the story and action in the Silver Hawk film are very suitable for comics. Character design and action styles for the comics will be very similar to the film.

Photo from "Ming Pao".

(12/09/03) Blackie Ko Sau-Leung, nicknamed No. 1 Flying Person of Asia, passed away in Shanghai on December 9th. Apparently he died of an "alcohol-induced asthma attack" after attending three banquets. He was 51.

We reported on this website in March that Ko's stunt team - though not Blackie Ko himself - participated in the filming of Silver Hawk. "Sina" reporters interviewed director Jingle Ma, who had worked on a few movies with Ko, after hearing the tragic news. Jingle Ma recalled that when Blackie Ko heard Silver Hawk needed a scene of flying bike over The Great Wall, he asked Ma why he (Ko) was not asked to do the stunt for the film. Ma told him that it was because Michelle decided to do the stunt herself. Ma also said Ko is a multi-talented person and loyal friend. It's really sad to have lost him.

Blackie Ko Sau-Leung had participated in more than 100 films, including Michelle's Magnificent Warriors (car/bike action director) and Royal Warriors (bus driver).

(12/08/03) On December 7th, Michelle, Jingle Ma, Richie Jen, and Brandon Chang were on a Silver hawk promotion in Hong Kong, celebrating the launch of the official film trailer. Some segments of the film were shown. There was a small incident during the promotion that is now on the headlines of Chinese entertainment news. At one point, they were divided into groups to play games with fans. A female fan in Richie Jen's group, with her eyes covered, was supposed to walk to Richie and take something from his hands. But she lost orientation and quickly walked to the edge of the stage. Everyone was frightened. Some audience started to scream. Just as the fan was about to fall from the stage, Michelle - our real Silver Hawk - leaped forward and grabbed her. The fan was saved! Later Richie recalled that he was so scared and almost frozen, "Luckily Michelle was so fast!" Michelle only said modestly: "I had training".

Press asked Michelle if she would apply for the "Guinness World Records" as the first female who ever jump a bike over The Great Wall. Michelle said people from Guinness had to be in presence in order to be qualified for the record. They were only making a movie and it was not her goal to get the record. She also expressed her gratitude to Chinese authorities for allowing them to film at The Great Wall and lending a panda to them. Michelle said the seven month old panda cub weighted about 100 pounds and her clothes got all soaked after the shooting. The panda also left some bruises on her arms by giving playful bites.

Michelle has been doing voice dubbing for the film. The post-production is expected to be completed soon. The film will be released in Hong Kong, Mainland and southeast Asia on January 22nd.

Photos from the promotion

(11/24/03) Redesigned Silver Hawk Official Site is now fully open.

(11/18/03) Italian International Film (IIF) has acquired Italian distribution rights to Silver Hawk.

(11/11/03) Some known distributors of Silver Hawk: Golden Harvest (Hong Kong), Golden Screen (Malaysia), Shaw Organisation (Singapore), Deal/Pathe (France), Korea Pictures (South Korea), Polybona (China), CMC and Fox (Taiwan). (Source: "Screen Daily")

Media Asia pre-bought rights in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. Han Entertainment sold the rights in France and Korea during the production. In September, Han completed finance the film through a gap finance deal and the appointment of Australia-based Arclight Films as sales agent, handling all international sales in the unsold territories.

Silver Hawk is currently under post-production. There will be three versions of the film: English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. Delivery is scheduled for December with release in time for the major Chinese New Year holiday.

(11/05/03) Silver Hawk teaser trailer!   (1:11, 5.2MB)

Sneak preview screenings of selected scenes from Silver Hawk will be held at MIFED 2003 (Nov.9 11:30 and Nov.11 13:30, at Sala Camperio). An exclusive 40 minutes of footage from the film will be shown.

(10/15/03) According to "Youth Times" (China), the composer for Silver Hawk is Peter Kam. The theme song of the film will be written (and performed?) by Richie Jen.

(10/13/03) From Taiwan "UDN" and "China Times": The always cool action heroine Michelle Yeoh is changing her image this time. In Silver Hawk, she plays a character who enjoys fighting and always smiles when she fights. "Don't you think Michelle's smiles are really sweet?", said director Jingle Ma. It was hard for Michelle, though: "she had to try to avoid her opponents' fists and kicks, remember and deliver her own action movements, and at the same time smile to the camera."

"When we finished an action sequence, the director often said I did great but I forgot to smile. Now one more time," "complained" Michelle, "we invited some international action stars for the film. They are so strong. A few times I was sent out of the frame by their kicks, but I still had to keep the smile on my face."

During the shoot Michelle's back injury recurred. She had to rely on her massagist's daily treatment to be able to move. "Sometimes I asked myself: 'Why am I working so hard?'", said Michelle, "But I love filmmaking. Whenever I hear 'Action!' from the director, I would tell myself: 'I'm fine. Come on!'"

Richie Jen told reporters that he didn't expect Michelle is so strong. He said Michelle's punches and kicks were more powerful than men's - they were so hard that he was almost unable to withstand. Michelle joked: "I had to beat him hard as a revenge, since his agent always beat me in the card games!"

Asked if she has any love scene with Richie Jen in the film, Michelle smiled: "Only hugs. No kiss. Richie didn't complain I hugged him too hard, did he?"

Talking about SARS during the shooting, Michelle said it was a real nerve-wracking experience. There were more than 100 crew members on the set. As producers they had to consider both the safety of the crew and the shooting schedule. Jingle Ma said because of the sudden closure of some shooting locations, they had to adjust their plans daily. "We were changing our script almost every night," said Jingle Ma, "it was very challenging. But nobody wishes to go through it again."

Silver Hawk will be released in Taiwan for the Chinese New Year.

Photos from interviews

(10/12/03) "Nanfang City Daily" (China) interview: Silver Hawk's Seven Extremities (Oct. 11)

From "South China Morning Post" (Sept 30, 2003):
Loan stars
(by Tinnie Chow)
Hong Kong's Han Entertainment has completed the financing for its US$15 million action film Silverhawk. The film stars Michelle Yeoh, as a superhero who sports many disguises, Richie Ren, Luke Goss (from Blade 2) and Brandon Chang Cheuk-nam.

Han Entertainment's Thomas Chung and Jarred Underwood, of specialist bank Comerica, closed a loan for an undisclosed sum.

'We are very excited to bring another very experienced bank to Hong Kong and to have executed such a sophisticated deal,' says Chung. Media Asia has bought the rights to the film in Hong Kong, the mainland, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore, while international distribution worldwide will be handled by Arclight's new commercial films division, Darklight. The film is expected to be out by the Lunar New Year.

Australian-based Arclight's Hong Kong representative, Bey Logan, says: 'We're happy to support such a high quality Asian film. It will complement other films such as Masters of War with Nicolas Cage, and Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino.'

(10/01/03) On the evening of October 1st, producer Thomas Chung held a party for a group of Silver Hawk crew members in Hong Kong. He thanked all of them, especially Michelle and director Jingle Ma, for their infinite support during the extremely difficult (SARS) time. He embraced Michelle and Jingle Ma, which drew very warm applause. Michelle's eyes got moist.

Michelle said she's very happy to get together with the crew members again. During the Silver Hawk shoot, the difficulties they faced were more than any other films she had worked on. Because of the SARS epidemic in China, many of their plans were disrupted, including sudden closure of the shooting locations, 10-day quarantine for travelers, etc.. But everybody on the team worked together, they not only succeeded in finishing the film shooting, but also had built stronger friendships.

Photos from the party

All earlier financial problems that caused by SARS have been solved. Last week "Screen Daily" had an article entitled "Han, Arclight to fly with $15m Silver Hawk" with a subline "Michelle Yeoh starring martial arts film completes financing". I couldn't access the article since "Screen Daily" online now requires subscription.

(09/16/03) Reporters asked Michelle about the alleged financial problem in the Silver Hawk shoot when she was attending a screening of Stephen Fung's charity short film (see News). Michelle admitted that the financing of the film was affected because of the trouble in getting insurance under SARS. The project went 10% over the budget due to the impact of SARS. She was very grateful that all crew members showed their true support during the difficult time. The post-production is going well and the film is scheduled for a Lunar New Year release.

(08/22/03) Silver Hawk posters.

(08/07/03) Silver Hawk filming has been successfully completed (Congratulations!) and Michelle returned to Hong Kong on the night of August 4th.

(07/29/03) Silver Hawk shooting is going smoothly in Japan. The team got permission to film at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (MeSci) in Tokyo. The majority of the action scenes has been successfully finished and the filming is expected to wrap up in early August.

It's confirmed that BoA is no longer on the project. Co-producer Thomas Chung said BoA was still in shock as a result of the recent sudden death of her Korean manager. It's a pity but understandable that she decided to drop out. Director Jingle Ma has found another singer in Japan to replace BoA for the role.

News Photos - from Shanghai to Japan, July 2003

(07/26/03) Several Hong Kong newspapers reported that Korean singer BoA had dropped out of Silver Hawk.

Because of SARS, shooting of BoA's part in the film was postponed. It is hard to re-arrange an 8 day shooting within her very busy schedule. Reportedly though, another main reason for BoA's withdrawal is the disagreement between SM Japan, BoA's representative in Japan, and the film company over the size of a concert scene.

BoA has been practicing Kung-Fu and learning acting techniques for the role in the film. Her (ex)manager got killed in a traffic accident a little more than one week ago.

(07/16/03) Silver Hawk shooting is moving to Japan today (July 17th local time). Michelle had a farewell party for the local crew members in Shanghai.

Michelle said with Silver Hawk they started everything from zero. It is one of the hardest films for her to make. Reportedly some of Michelle's old injuries recurred due to the film's large amount of action scenes and long working hours (sometimes more than 10 hours per day).

Richie Jen was in Hong Kong a couple of days ago. Talking about Silver Hawk shooting, he said it was hard but satisfying. He has learned a lot of free style fighting - "fast, powerful, and accurate". He said that when fighting with western action actors, "they are big and strong, and their punches are very heavy. I'm now covered with bruises and having a hard time lifting my left arm." Jen also said that many important fighting scenes lie on Michelle's shoulders - bike flying, fighting with western action actors, wire works, etc.. "But I never heard her complaining," said Richie Jen, "I have to say I really admire her for her hard work." Richie Jen also said director Jingle Ma had been working very hard: "After daily shooting, he has to do cutting and editing."

The second lead actress in the film, Li Bingbing, is also a hard worker. Michelle praises Li Bingbing a lot, saying Li Bingbing, who's one of the rare actresses who really enjoys doing action despite all the bruises and pains, reminds her of herself in the earlier years.

The film is scheduled to be released around Chinese New Year (January 22nd, 2004).

(07/15/03) A letter from co-producer Thomas Chung on Silver Hawk shooting - THANKS, Thomas!
... We are alive and well. Just finished the PR leg of the shoot on Silver Hawk. It has been an arduous, challenging and yet, fulfilling journey for the movie and... as individuals.

The entire crew managed to stay very healthy during our journey, which started in Beijing on 26 March, and SARS-free. We managed to get out of Beijing before the epidemic hit town. Some locations in Shanghai were delayed due to SARS but we managed to secure all our shoot in the wonderful modern look of shanghai.

Because of SARS, our financing of the picture was affected as no completion bonding insurance on the pic was possible. We had to dig deep into our own resources.

We will be off to Tokyo this week to complete our filming. It's been a hard battle but I promise u all MY's fans, she will rock the house!!! The world has not seen Michelle fight like this in a while and looking simply marvelous. (7 different outfit as the Hawk!!!!). The film will come out in Asia in CNY and the official website will be very active after summer.
(July 15, 2003)

(07/10/03) "Nanfang Daily" (China) reporters interviewed director Jingle Ma before the shooting team moves to Japan. Ma said the producers had a clear plan regarding the global promotion of the film. No one is allowed to give away production details before the next press conference.

Since the SARS epidemic in China caused some delays earlier in the shooting, the production is now two to three weeks behind the schedule. Korean singer BoA was supposed to be on the set in May in Shanghai but re-scheduled to this month in Japan. Jingle Ma said they were considering arranging a special concert for BoA in Shanghai for the shooting (BoA's role in the film is like herself - a popular singer in Asia). Now filming in Japan will coincide with BoA's Tokyo concert. "We have discussed," said Ma, "(and) we will use this concert. Our actual filming set will have tens of thousands of audience." Jingle Ma also said that he had added some action scenes for BoA after she asked if she could fight in the film.

(06/30/03) June 28th: After hours of waiting at the gate of a Silver Hawk set, a "Xiaoxiang Morning Post" (China) reporter, though didn't get any chance to interview Michelle, caught director Jingle Ma for a few minutes. Ma revealed at least two sequels to the film are being planned and the preparations for these may start right after the film releases. Since the action in Silver Hawk is very cartoon styled, real cartoons (books or movies) may be developed after the film.

The reporter saw two doubles of Michelle - one male and one female. Asked about this, Jingle Ma explained that Michelle had a leg injury (Jane's note: it's not clear whether he meant an old injury or that Michelle has sustained a new one) and certain sequences were very demanding and tough. They sometimes used the male double when scenes required Michelle's character to be kicked or beaten. The female double was usually used for testing camera angle or adjusting lighting, etc.. Michelle never liked to use any double and always kept asking to be allowed to do herself.

Jingle Ma said they planned to spend four months for the post-production and a large amount of time would be used on action editing. The action in the film is designed by the action director in tandem with Jingle Ma. "It will be something that audiences have never seen before," said Ma.

(06/26/03) Since Silver Hawk shooting started at the end of March, Michelle has been focusing on the production. There had been very little first hand reporting about her and she hasn't accepted any personal interviews. Her co-stars, such as Richie Jen and Li Bingbing who are not scheduled to be on set all the time, sometimes attended other public activities and agrees to be interviewed. However, they were not allowed to talk about the film details. When speaking of the production, the subject they often talked about, instead, was - Michelle.

Richie Jen: I've learned a lot from Michelle. She has very rich experience with actions. On the set, she teaches us how to ensure that action moves look good and also to avoid getting injured.
     She's very lively, like a big kid. And she's such a nice person - so nice that it's beyond description as far as I am concerned.

Li Bingbing: Whenever I got hurt during action sequences, she looked more nervous than me. She knew how it felt from her own experience. She was always the first person who ran up to me when that happened.
     (after a thigh muscle injury which put Li off for a day) I feel my pain is nothing when I look at Michelle. Her back hurt her so much the other day that she was hobbling and couldn't sleep the whole night! I really admire her for her devotion. Among all the big stars I've met, Michelle Yeoh is the super-star who behaves the least like one.

Lisa S (famous Hong Kong model who plays a senior police officer in the film): I was nervous when I met her the first time. She's very nice and works very hard. Not everyone stays on the set when their part is done, but Michelle is there from morning to night. (Did she teach you any action?) No, she's too busy. I don't have much action in the film except some dodges. (Would you like to be her disciple?) Oh yes, if only she had time.

Wei Lai: She's a very caring person and very hard, devoted worker. I feel she's a perfectionist. She tries to do everything perfectly.

Many other participants in Silver Hawk from WhyNot-You told reporters that, for all of their initial nervousness, they had had a very good time on the shooting set. The atmosphere was always pleasant. There were many laughs and jokes on the set. One of the more difficult things for these new comers pertains to language since the film is being shot in two versions - one entirely in English and another in a mix of English and Cantonese (people who don't speak Cantonese used Mandarin and will be dubbed later). After many NGs, actors sometimes messed up which version they were shooting and used wrong language (and ended with laughter).

Shooting in Shanghai will wrap up in a few days and move to Japan.

(06/11/03) WhyNot-You, the talent agency in Shanghai which is commissioned to cast 60 supporting roles for Silver Hawk, is arranging its customers to visit the actual set of the filming and published some photos when the WhyNot-You talents involved.

WhyNot-You Exclusive Photos and Stories, Shanghai

(06/10/03) From "Oriental Daily" (Hong Kong): An accident happened during Silver Hawk shooting on June 10. It was not Michelle or other actors but, instead, director Jingle Ma who got injured on his left eye. It happened right after filming a chaos scene on a hockey field. The director hurried toward the video camera and wanted to see the result. He was in a big hurry, plus he was sick and having a fever at the time. In any event, he somehow ended up accidentally hiting himself hard on a wood board attached to the camera! The corner of his left eye was bleeding. Although Jingle Ma still wanted to continue shooting after this, producer Thomas Chung forced him to repair to a nearby hospital immediately. Doctor said there was a slight damage on the cornea. He could have lost his eye sight if he had been hit a little lower. After some rest, Jingle Ma went back to shooting - with one eye covered.

(06/03/03) A SCMP article on Silver Hawk shooting: Yeoh's Silver Hawk soars over Sars hurdles. It's written by the same author who wrote the Silver Hawk article on May 20's "Hollywood Reporter". This SCMP piece contains more details.

(05/23/03) So far Silver Hawk filming details were basically kept secret. But when the shooting moved from Shanghai Film Studio to the Central Green Park on the evening of 19th for the previously reported large wedding scene, reporters got a chance to get a closer look of the production. They were asked to keep distance and not to take pictures. However, "Shanghai Afternoon Post" reporters, who stayed at the set for two days and two nights, managed to snap a few shots.

Photos from Shanghai shooting

(05/22/03) In the past few days, Silver Hawk team was filming at Central Green Park in Pudong, Shanghai. It was a wedding scene with more than 200 extras. Michelle and Li Bingbing, dressed in silver and black respectively, "flew" on to the scene on their motorbikes and then engaged in a big fight - on and off the bikes. For one sequence, the director wanted Li Bingbing do a jump kick and Michelle to dodge it by lying down on the bike, but Li could not kick as high as planned. After many tries, they switched to Li's double to finish the shot. A "Shanghai Morning Post" reporter tried to chase and talk to Michelle during a break. When that silver figure turned around, "to my horror," the reporter wrote, "that Michelle Yeoh became a man!" It turned out that was one of the stuntmen who was meant to be a double for Michelle but wasn't needed for the fighting.

Another casting note: Wei Lai, 20, a third year student at the Shanghai Theater Academy who had starred in a couple of TV series, plays Michelle's assistant (Mi). In the film, she is the only person who knows Michelle's secret.

(05/21/03) Article from yesterday's "Hollywood Reporter": Masked Crusaders.

Silver Hawk photos from the issue

From "Hollywood Reporter" (May 16 2003):
No Pandering
(by Blake Murdoch)
Michelle Yeoh may be one of the toughest actresses in the martial arts world, but when it comes to panda bears, there's no match. Thomas Chung, managing director of Hong Kong's Han Entertainment, which is producing Yeoh's latest film, "Silver Hawk," in association with her company Mythical Films, said that Yeoh recently met her most formidable opponent in the form of a 7-month-old panda bear, which she rescues from smugglers in the film's opening sequences. "We just managed to capture enough footage to show that Michelle is in control," Chung said, noting that panda bears have big claws and slobbery bites and aren't that used to human contact. "The operative word in 'panda bear' is 'bear,' " he added. "Silver Hawk" is based on a favorite Asian, Robin Hood-type tale and has been set in the near future. Chung added that during the film's shoot, six topline BMW motorcycles (Yeoh's mode of transport in the film) were wrecked, and there were also more costume changes -- from sexy body-hugging cat-woman suits to Prada gowns -- "than she's ever had in all her films combined." The film also features the latest phone from Nokia, but it won't be released commercially until the film comes out. Chung said its futuristic design is a top secret between the two companies. "Silver Hawk" is shooting in Shanghai before moving to Tokyo.
More news from Shanghai shooting: They have successfully completed many amazing shots. Currently filmmakers are seeking roller skating experts in Shanghai, who will be needed in a battle scene with Michelle. Since roller skating is not very popular in Shanghai, the original plan was to bring someone outside Shanghai. But the plan had to be canceled due to SARS. In order to get qualified persons as soon as possible, the cell phone numbers of two assistant directors of Silver Hawk were made public. "Now my cell phone became a talent hotline!" (half) joked one of the assistant directors.

Michelle is continuing her "fighting" in Shanghai. Action scenes are very physically demanding. Reportedly Michelle's three piece costume is often soaked with sweat after shooting a fight sequence.

(05/14/03) Silver Hawk promotion photos at the Cannes Market

(05/08/03) Last weekend Chinese actress Li Bingbing joined the shooting of Silver Hawk. On May 3rd and 4th, they were shooting a scene that Li Bingbing and Michael Jai White chasing after and fighting with Michelle at Pudong East Road, Lujiazui of Shanghai. Reporters were asked not to take photos since the filmmakers didn't want the character designs to get "leaked" too early.

Having starred in a number of costume martial arts roles, Li Bingbing said this shooting was much harder than she previously thought. Unlike in her earlier roles where many movements are dance-like, in Silver Hawk every move is real. To help Li Bingbing in her first modern action role, Michelle came to every scene shooting and gave her many pointers. Li Bingbing said she was very touched when Michelle specially prepared wrist and knee pads for her for extra protection. Michelle praised Li Bingbing and said she did surprisingly well - she had very good skills and was quick to learn.

A graduated from the Shanghai Theater Academy, 27 year old Li Bingbing is a well-known Chinese movie and TV star. This is the first time she plays a villain. "I'm really lucky to have a chance to work with my idol, Michelle Yeoh," she said. In the film Li Bingbing's main weapons are her legs and Michael Jai White mainly uses his fists.

(05/05/03) We had not heard much about Michelle's motorbike jump over The Great Wall. Apparently the purpose of relocating the shooting of that sequence was to avoid not only tourists but also the media's cameras. The great news is that it was indeed filmed successfully last month.

Last week UDN (Taiwan) reporters had a telephone interview with co-producer Thomas Chung, who was in Shanghai shooting Silver Hawk. Talking about Michelle's bike jump, Chung said it was a big challenge to Michelle. "She was not afraid of the jump but she is afraid of heights. She was really scared a minute before she got on the bike. But when the director shouted 'action', she just got the courage and went. It was done in one take."

"We were all worried about Michelle. She has vertigo and it was certainly not easy to perform such a difficult jump. We took all the safety measures." Thomas Chung added, "I have to say I admire her courage."

The Great Wall of China is one of the seven original wonders of the world. "We decided to have a scene of flying over it when we were writing the script. Although we didn't realize it, it actually made Michelle the first female who ever did so." said Chung.

Michelle's motorbike jump will be at the opening sequence of the film.

Note that there is a scene involving the main female character riding a motorbike on The Great Wall and jumping from it in the recently released trailer of Tomb Raider II. But it is not the real Great Wall (it shows) and it's clearly not the actress who did the jump. Reportedly they failed to get a permission to shoot the scene inside China and the filming was done instead in the English countryside.

There was an earlier report by "Liaoning Daily" of a bike jump sequence (not sure it was Michelle's), performed by Blackie Ko Sau-Leung's stunt team, for Silver Hawk on April 14th. It was shot at Jiumenkou Great Wall, located in Liaoning province and is the only section of The Great Wall built over water. Reportedly there were 150 crew members at the actual shooting. The stunt team had been practicing at the location for a week and at least one motorbike was junked due to falls. There was no report any person got injured.

(05/01/03) Photo from Shanghai: Michelle with the young actors who play childhood Michelle and Richie Jen in the film.

The 11 year old girl and boy were chosen from more than 2000 children in a famous martial arts school. They received two-weeks of special training from the action choreographers in order to learn the martial styles required for the film and also some other performing techniques. Both of them had no prior acting experience but they learned very fast. Michelle is very satisfied with their performances in both action and acting. Furthermore, they and Michelle had developed affections for one another, especially the little girl. Michelle said she hated to part with them when they finished their parts and had to leave the shooting team.

(04/30/03) Filming of Silver Hawk has been continuing in Shanghai, the largest city of China. Chinese media reported that Richie Jen had been in Shanghai shooting and Li Bingbing would join them at the beginning of May. An U.K. news source said Luke Goss, who plays the main villain of the film, had been brushing up on his martial arts skills with a week-long course before flying out to Shanghai. Goss said he was looking forward to working with Michelle, saying: "I've always been an admirer of her films." Reportedly the shooting in Shanghai will go on until the middle of June before moving to Japan. The team will return to Shanghai in July. All shooting is expected to be completed by the middle of July.

Note on SARS: Shanghai is not one of the hardest-hit regions. So far there have been only two confirmed SARS cases in Shanghai, a city of 14 million people. Nonetheless, the city is on high alert since the disease is still spreading inside China. Many large scale activities have been canceled or postponed. As a consequence, Silver Hawk has to avoid shooting those scenes which involve large numbers of extras at this moment.

(04/22/03) Filming of Silver Hawk was moved to Shanghai last week. According to "Oriental Daily" (Hong Kong) reporters, who recently talked to co-producer Thomas Chung, Silver Hawk team had successfully completed the shooting in Beijing, including the motorbike sequence of flying over The Great Wall. While in Beijing, producers were taking all measures to protect the crew members from SARS. All team members were instructed to wear protective surgical masks, avoiding crowded places, etc., and they were also provided with hand sanitizers, daily Vitamin C tablets together with a special lecture and the booklet about SARS. So far no crew member got hit by the disease. A WHO team is currently in Shanghai investigating the extent of the SARS outbreak in the China's largest city, following revelations that the lethal disease in Beijing was far worse than initially admitted. If conditions in Shanghai deteriorate, Thomas Chung said, they will consider moving the shooting to Japan earlier than planned.

"A group of smugglers were transporting a container. Suddenly, our heroine, bemasked and silver cloaked, arrived on the scene. Using her hawk style martial arts, she soon disposed of the whole group. When she opened the container..."
It was a scene being shot at the Chengdu Panda Base (full name: Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding), on the morning of April 16th. What greeted Michelle when she opened the container was the superstar of the day on the shooting set - Ya Xing, a seven month old panda.

The panda cub was definitely a superstar. A team of 30 crew members had to fly to Chengdu in order to meet her. Our heroine, Michelle, carefully followed the instructions from the workers of the base and went through a strict disinfection procedure before she finally held the panda in her arms. The scene of Michelle playing with the panda cub was so cute that Jingle Ma took a camera and started to film the scene himself (there were three cameras rolling at the same time). Panda Ya Xing was very playful. For some shots she was very cooperative and the shooting could be completed in one take. But there were also times she would totally ignore the director. The entire shooting at the base took about two hours. Here you can see a picture of Ya Xing (the fourth picture from left at the bottom line. Sorry, no Michelle picture.). The panda base provided the panda for Silver Hawk shooting for free. Jingle Ma said he had filmed koala in the past. "But nothing beats a panda," said Ma excitedly.

By noon, the shooting was done. Michelle rushed to a gift shop and got a toy panda. :-)

In the afternoon, Michelle, Jingle Ma, and Thomas Chung flew to Shanghai where the shooting of Silver Hawk will continue.

(04/15/03) Michelle and director Jingle Ma were seen in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, on April 15th. They did not agree to any interviews. Jingle Ma told reporters they were there for one day only. Sichuan is not one of the main shooting locations for Silver Hawk.   (Jane's note: wonder if it is related to the previously reported panda scene, as Sichuan is the hometown of panda.)

(04/11/03) Chen Daming, a Chinese director and an actor, joined Beijing shooting. In the film he plays a Michelle's suitor, a scientist who invented the "Al Chip" that is the main item sought after by the villainous Wolfe.

Richie Jen, the film's male lead, was in Shanghai on April 7th shooting an (unrelated) commercial. He told reporters that filming of Silver Hawk was going on in Beijing but he didn't have any scene at the moment. He said it was his honor to have an opportunity to work with Michelle, who's an admirable heroine. His role in the film is a policeman and he will have many action and flying bike/car scenes. He felt a lot of pressure and has been practicing fight moves everyday. "I can't lose to Michelle!" said Richie Jen. Richie Jen himself is a motorbike lover and has taken part in various motorcycle races.

(04/07/03) Masked Crusader has been renamed to Silver Hawk. Reportedly the title was changed because the war in Iraq has invested "crusader" with negative meaning, and also to make it closer to the film's Chinese title.

Korean singer BoA announced at her concert in Japan recently that she will join the shooting of Silver Hawk in Shanghai in June. This will be her first film appearance and she's both nervous and excited. BoA is 17 years old. She speaks fluent Korean, Japanese and English. Reportedly she will perform the film song(s) for Silver Hawk.

(04/03/03) The shooting of Masked Crusader has been going on at Jie Tai Si (Temple of the Ordination Altar), a temple which has about 1400 years of history, located on the west side of Beijing.

"Tianjin Everyday News" reported that the location for Michelle's motorbike jump will be moved to a different section of The Great Wall. It was originally planned to take place at Ba Da Ling, which is one of the hottest tourist spots in Beijing. Director Jingle Ma said it would add pressure to the actor and make the shooting more difficult if there are too many tourists around.

The new shooting location is said to be in Hebei province, about 4 to 5 hour's drive away from Beijing. "This section of The Great Wall is also very wide and has excellent environment. The jump is planned to be over 15 to 20 meters. During the real shooting we will let Michelle start at 10 meters and gradually increase the length," said Jingle Ma, "I will make sure to capture Michelle's face clearly. If we can't tell it is Michelle or a double in the final product, she's going to kill me."

Reportedly the motorbike stunt will be shot this week.

(03/30/03) Reportedly Michelle's motorcycle stunt - flying across The Great Wall - will be shot in a few days. To make it safer, the stunt team of Blackie Ko Sau-Leung has been invited. "They are experienced," said Michelle. Blackie Ko Sau-Leung has a nickname "No. 1 Flying person of Asia". He has a few of records of "First"s of his own: he flew a motorbike across The Great Wall (Jin Shan Ling) in 1992 (38 meters; it is recorded in the Guinness); piloted a car over the Yellow River in 1997; and steered a car over The Potala Palace, Tibet, in 2002. Besides his hobby of "flying", he also is an actor, singer, stunt person and a stunt director and movie director.

(03/28/03) Masked Crusader's forst day of filming took place at a small house located in a forest next to The Great Wall on the outskirt of Beijing. Michelle appeared in a white suit and a wig. She looked so different that some crew members mistook her for a new actress. Seeing as she is supposed to be a business woman and high society personality by day and a masked heroine by night, Michelle's character will have many different designs/dresses in the film. Asked by reporters if there will be any sexy dress, Michelle responded with a smile: "That's not my style."

Michelle and Thomas Chung prepared a large amount of protective surgical masks for the crew members due to the recent outbreak of a deadly respiratory disease (SARS) in Asia.

Germany's BMW has sponsored 16 motorcycles and some cars for the filming.

Photos from Beijing Ba Da Ling

(03/27/03) Filming of Masked Crusader is starting today in Beijing (March 28). A press conference and contract signing ceremony were held in Beijing on March 27th, with more than a hundred of reporters in attendance.

Dressed in black leather suits, Michelle and the male lead, Richie Jen, arrived on a motorbike. There will be many exciting and dangerous scenes in the film. One of them will be Michelle flying a motorbike across The Great Wall (!). The jump is slated to be about 20 meters (66 feet) in length. Michelle said she planned to do the stunt herself and she had two months to practice her bike skills. Asked if two months of training would be enough, Michelle said she only had two weeks for the motorbike stunt in Police Story III: Supercop. Asked if she will register with "Guinness World Records" as the first female who flies a bike over The Great Wall, Michelle smiled: "You reminded me. I can consider that."

On being asked if he feels Michelle puts her own life in his hands, director Jingle Ma assured reporters that they will take extra safety measures and will not play with Michelle's life. They will not let Michelle do it until stuntmen test it first and Michelle will do it only when she feels confident and comfortable doing so.

Talking about Richie Jen, Michelle said he's a good looking, lovely, and fun person. Jen is a sporty person (and a hot singer) and he has been practicing kung-fu for the film.

Besides Richie Jen and Brandon Chang, also joining the cast are Luke Goss (Blade II), who plays the main villain, Michael Jai White (The Matrix Reloaded), Korean female idol BoA, and Chinese actress Li Bing-Bing. The child actors who play young Michelle and Richie Jen have been selected from 2000 candidates. Both of them know Shaolin style martial arts.

The budget of the film is U.S. $15 million. There will be two versions of the film - one in English and another in Chinese.

Media Asia (Hong Kong) came on board Masked Crusader and will handle the distribution for mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. Co-producer Thomas Chung and Media Asia executive Peter Lam signed the contract in front of the press.

Photos from the Beijing press conference

(03/24/03) According to "Oriental Daily" (Hong Kong), the male lead of the film is Richie Jen (singer and actor; Summer Holiday, Marry a Rich Man). Although the western investor(s) suggested using a western actor to play the superintendent role, the producers convinced them to use a Chinese actor. Richie Jen has collaborated with Jingle Ma for a few times, and the producers and director think his looks and character are very suitable for the role.

The news also says the Chinese officials are very supportive for the project. They have given permission for a flying car/bike scene, possibly done by Richie Jen, to be shot at The Great Wall. They also agreed to lend a Chinese treasure, giant panda, for a three hours of shooting. Reportedly there will be a scene in which Michelle rescues a panda. The panda will appear in the film for not more than a minute, but the estimated shooting time is about three hours. (Jane's note: be careful, Michelle - Panda is as strong as a bear, not a pet. ;-> )

Michelle returned from Japan to Hong Kong on March 22nd. She had been in Tokyo for the preparation of Masked Crusader. Besides Tokyo, the filming will take place mainly in China - Beijing, Shanghai, and Sichuan. A press conference and the opening lens ceremony are planned at this week in Beijing. The details of the filming will be announced.

(03/21/03) Tianjin Film Studio, Michelle's Chinese collaborator for The Touch and the future Hua Mulan, is now officially one of the co-production companies for Masked Crusader. According to "Tianjin Daily", the co-production project has been approved by the Film Bureau and given a green light to shoot (in China). Shooting is scheduled to start at the end of this month in Beijing.

"Shanghai Morning Post" reported that director Jingle Ma will be in Shanghai, one of the shooting locations for the film, to interview candidates for supporting roles on March 23rd.

(03/12/03) "Korea Daily" reported that BoA (a.k.a. Kwon BoA), a Korean singer who's popular in Japan and Korea, has been invited to join Michelle in a Hong Kong actioner. Her role is to play the daughter of a Japanese businessman and a singer who gets kidnapped. Reportedly she has agreed to star although the final contract hasn't been signed. She's expected to join the shooting in April or May. The news doesn't give the title of the film but judging from the filming time, it should be Masked Crusader.

(03/12/03) Some photos of Michelle while touring the WhyNot-You's Shanghai studio on Feb. 16th are added at Photos from the press conference in Shanghai. "There's such a lot of talent in China and since we're going to be filming mainly there, it makes sense for us to cast there. The facilities and the support at WhyNot-You provides us with a really strong database to choose from," said Michelle. WhyNot-You has been commissioned to cast 60 supporting roles for Masked Crusader. Filming in Shanghai is scheduled to take place in April.

(03/02/03) Scan of a teaser poster is added in the photos from the Shanghai press conference.

(02/28/03) The Official Site is (partially) up. Principal shooting will take place from March to June, and the film is expected to hit screens in time for Christmas - worldwide!

A(nother) video from Shanghai press conference (in Mandarin. 2:26. from NetandTV)

(02/23/03) Michelle and Thomas Chung are currently at AFM (American Film Market) promoting Masked Crusader. Several studios, including Miramax, Revolution and Universal, have showed strong interests in the project. At least one of them offered 9 digit figure (Hong Kong dollars. US$1=HK$7.8) for purchasing the global distribution rights to the film. But the producers would like to keep the Asian, or at least Chinese distribution rights themselves. Which studio will get the deal - we can expect the news soon.

"Oriental Daily" (Hong Kong) telephoned Thomas Chung and confirmed the above news. Chung revealed that they are inviting an internationally known actor for the villain role and a Chinese actor to be the male lead. Since American investor(s) may join the project, the budget of the film, originally set at US$10 million, may be increased.

Two days ago, "Yangtze Daily" (China) had a phone interview with the director Jingle Ma, who was in Shanghai for location scouting. Ma said that the location scouting for Masked Crusader had not been easy. They had been in Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo, mainly looking for modern looking buildings. Ma also said that Brandon Chang will have a role in the film.

Reportedly Michelle has been practicing hawk fist for the film. The Chinese title of the film is literally "Flying Hawk Heroine".

(02/18/03) On Feb. 16th, a press conference for Masked Crusader was held at an office of WhyNot-You, a talent agency in Shanghai. Michelle, director Jingle Ma, co-producer Thomas Chung, and art director Hai Chung Man (who was the art director of Saviour of the Soul, Comrades, Almost a Love Story, etc.) were in Shanghai to launch a cast search (by WhyNot-You) for the film. They will be looking for people to fill 60 minor roles in Shanghai - including that of 10 policemen, 4 flight attendants, and an 8-10 year old girl who will play the young Michelle.

[ A separate casting note (not from the press conference at which the cast of the film was not announced): a few days earlier, StarRoad, another talent agency in China, announced that Masked Crusader's filmmakers were looking for three child actors who're around 10 years old to play the characters of the young Michelle, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, and Lau Ching-Wan respectively. Does this mean that Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (Butterfly & Sword, In the Mood For Love, Hero) and/or Lau Ching-Wan (Executioners, Full Alert, A Hero Never Dies) are being considered to star in the film? ]

At the press conference, producer Thomas Chung said they planned to make Masked Crusader a series. They hope Michelle could star in at least the first two, or more if her schedule will allow her. Asked about Hua Mulan, Thomas Chung said it will start filming as soon as the production of Masked Crusader ends. A reporter asked Thomas Chung how close he thinks Michelle the real person compares to the Hua Mulan role. "Very close. I think Michelle has a spirit which is similar to Hua Mulan's", said Thomas Chung, "that love for her family and country, and that spirit which can never be defeated."

Michelle said Hua Mulan was a difficult film to make and that she felt a lot of pressure. She's going to make this action comedy, Masked Crusader, during the preparation of Hua Mulan so she could get relaxed the first. She said she was a humorous person in real life but her film characters happened to be usually serious. In Masked Crusader she will play a relaxed comedic role and it is a new type for her to try. That is the main reason she chooses to work with Jingle Ma, whose movies Michelle thinks can be relaxed and fun.

Masked Crusader is Jingle Ma's first collaboration with Michelle. "Michelle will do real fights in this film. It is important to let her do them since her movements are so beautiful. But we won't let her do dangerous moves even if she wants to," said Jingle Ma, "Michelle in real life is a very happy and lively person, unlike most of her screen images. She is very lovely in person. I'd like to show a lovely heroine on screen."

In an interview, when asked what's the best point of Michelle Yeoh, Jingle Ma said: "It's hard to describe it in one sentence. She's a very kind person and has a good heart. There are many of her merits you will only see after you spend some time with her. She respects everybody in the filming team. I heard that when she got hurt and fell during shootings, she would ask to try again and apologize. This is almost unheard of in the film industry - she apologizes even when she's the one who gets hurt. I am really moved. Every crew member should learn from her."

Filming of Masked Crusader is planned to begin in the middle of March and will last for about three months. The film is expected to hit screens in time for Christmas. Shooting locations will include Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo.

Video: Shanghai press conference (in Mandarin).

Photos from the press conference in Shanghai

Based On:  
Silver Hawk is based on a series of stories about a masked heroine, Huang Ying (Wong Ngang), read more...

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( page created: 02/18/03,   last modified: 06/05/11 )