“SPL” Sequel Myth Debugged

Mandarin films upcoming project "Po Jun" is being widely spoken of, on the Internet and elsewhere, as a sequel to Wilson Yip’s "SPL", a dark brooding film that was seen by many as a return to form for HK action cinema. ??

But though the two films share many similarities – Wilson Yip will be directing "Po Jun", and Donnie Yen, who is currently gracing our screens in the long-awaited "Dragon Tiger Gate" will take on the dual duties of action choreographer and actor ?V there is no connection between the two. ??

When asked how such widespread confusion could have spread regarding this title, a spokeswoman for Mandarin Films said, "From what we know at the moment, ‘Po Jun’ will be a police-gangster story that takes place in Macau but it is not related to the characters and storyline of ‘SPL,’ (all main cast in SPL are already dead in the movie anyway)" ??

"We have been developing the new project for quite some time and I suspect that since most of the production crew of ‘Po Jun’ are from ‘SPL’, they needed a name for internal reference before the working title ‘Po Jun’ had been confirmed. In any case we are not doing any sequel for SPL." ??

Like Pang Ho-cheung’s recent "Isabella", "Po Jun" is to be set on the eve of Macau’s handover to the Central Government. As Pang said, it is a way of dealing with the pain of the HK handover in a way that is less direct. And like Pang’s film, "Po Jun" will also deal with police corruption in the former Portuguese colony. ??

Yen, born in Guangdong and raised in Boston became the first non-PRC Chinese to be accepted into the Beijing Wushu School. At age 19 he landed his first film role in a Hong Kong movie, "Laughing Tai Chi" directed by Yuen Woo-ping, but he gained his breakthrough in 1992 with Tsui Hark’s "Once Upon a Time in China II". He has also made a breakthrough in the American market, and most recently worked as action choreographer on "Stormbreaker" directed by Geoffrey Sax.

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