The Sha Po Lang (SPL) sequel, Po Jun (named after what “Po” stands for), will go into production in Macao by late September, according to a few Chinese newspapers. By the way, Sha Po Lang has been re-titled Kill Zone for the DVD release in the US. Wilson Yip will return as the director and Donnie Yen will return as the choreographer and the lead. Shao Po Lang’s story is set in Hong Kong at the dawn of its returning to China in 1997 and Po Jun’s story is set in Macao during the final days of Portugal’s rule (it was returned to China in 1999). The story and characters of Po Jun are all brand new. The sequel, or an anti-sequel sequel, is inspired by real cases of corrupt Macao cops working for local gangs in the late 1990s. Those are the darkest days in Macao’s history. A large number of cops joined the gangs and the police was powerless to stop the crime wave. Many gang members are still serving their times for what they did during those days.
Donnie Yen will play a senior cop, returning to Macao after completing a training course in Portugal, and Louis Koo will play his best friend, helping him to fight for justice. Koo recently provided the Cantonese voice for the main villain in Dragon Tiger Gate, the latest collaboration of Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen. Their arch-enemies are a gang leader and a master fighter serves as his right-hand man. These two roles have not been cast but the master fighter shall be played by a real martial-artist. Two mainland Chinese actresses will play the girlfriends of Donnie Yen and the gang leader’s characters. Produced by Hong Kong’s Mandarin Films and Beijing-based PolyBona Films, Po Jun will be made with US$8 million, surpassing the cost of Sha Po Lang, which was US$6.4 million.
Note: according to ancient Chinese Taoist texts, “Qi Sha”, “Po Jun” and “Tan Lang” (as “Sha”, “Po” and “Lang” in short), are three stars representing destruction, struggle and greed. Once persons who are born associated with these stars met, whey would have the power to either destroy the existing world or to create a new world. “Po Jun” represents struggle and literally, it roughly means “defeating enemy troops.”