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John Woo blasts a popular video game onto the big screen, Kelly Hu in new WB show, the down-low on the VC Film Fest, and more in this issue of News Bites.
Kelly Hu Added to Cast of New WB Show Shadows
Kelly Hu, recently known for her role in X-Men 2: United, has been added to the cast for the one-hour pilot of the WB '60s remake Shadows. Hu, a fourth generation Asian American and native of Hawaii, will be playing the role of the physician Dr. Julia Hoffman. A spin-off of the '60s soap Dark Shadows about a vampire curse that befalls on a wealthy New England family, the show is vying for a primetime spot this coming fall season. The cast of the new show includes Ivana Milicevic, Alexander Gould, and Michael D Roberts. Hu’s other TV credits include roles on the series Nash Bridges and as character Grace Chen on Martial Law.
Wang's Chan is Missing Starts Off VC Film Fest
Taking place from April 29-May 6, the VC film fest, reputed to be the nation’s premiere Asian American film festival, will include a week chock full of screenings, workshops, and panels. The VC Film Fest will kick-off on Thursday evening with the restored Chan is Missing, a film by Wayne Wang that highlighted problems experienced in assimilation among the Chinese.
Dedicated to the showcasing of a diverse blend of films made for and by Pacific Asian Americans, the festival also includes a program on community-based films, “Youth, Art and Activism” to a screening of the classic The Joy Club. Included in the program is a unique seminar on Asian American sexuality following the screening of James Hou's provocative documentary Masters of the Pillow. Informational workshops such as “The Art of the DP” will feature discussion with Martin Libatique, who was the director of photography on Requiem for a Dream and Never Die Alone.
For more information on schedules, tickets and location, please visit the festival site at www.vconline.org/ff04/index.html
John Woo to Make Movie Based on Nintendo Game “Metroid”
Esteemed action director John Woo has put the wheels in motion for adapting the Nintendo top-selling franchise game “Metroid” in a feature film. Woo’s production company, Tiger Hills Entertainment, will work in conjuction with producers Terence Chang and Brad Foxhoven, and Lion Rock Production’s Suzanne Zizzi. Woo, who directed blockbuster hits such as Face/Off, Mission Impossible: 2, and more recently Paycheck, may direct this sci-fi feature.
Scheduled for release in 2006, “Metroid” will have at least a budget estimated at 100 million dollars. Its premise will be based off of the Nintendo game that is second only to Super Mario Brothers in popularity and revenues. The game’s story centers on Samus Aran, a sexy female bounty hunter, who, in a struggle to dominate the universe, battles against the evil Metroids and their master Mother Brain.
More Woo: John Woo to Make Charity Film for UN
Woo was recently appointed by the UN as the “Love Ambassador,” Woo will make a charity film for the United Nations Children's Fund. In addition to Woo, six other directors, handpicked by a highly selective committee, were honored to make these films that are aimed at addressing problems in the world. The first Chinese ever to be selected, Woo in a call for others to help, will make a film highlighting the problems such as starvation, wars, illness, disasters which plague the lives of children. Other members of the committee include Gladiator director Ridley Scott and Whoopi Goldberg. The films, which will be made individually, will be later screened worldwide upon completion.
Dat Phan to Crack Jokes at East West Players Gala
Dat Phan, who was titled as “The Funniest Person in America" by winning the NBC competition "Last Comic Standing" last August, will be footing the entertainment bill alongside singers Harlemm Lee and Jenni Selma at the Visionary Awards Gala. Hosted by actresses Tamlyn Tomita and Amy Hill, honorees of this year’s commemoratory event include actors B.D. Wong, Tia Carrere, musical director Scott Nagatani, and playwright Chay Yew.
East West Players theatre will hold its annual dinner at the Universal City Hilton on April 26th to commemorate groundbreaking Asian American artists in theatre, film and television. The gala is also in part a celebration of the nation’s premiere Asian American theatre and its efforts in the past 38th years to shatter media stereotypes and increase the visibility of Asian Americans.
Proceeds of the silent auction, which will be held in conjunction to the gala, will benefit the East West Players artistic and educational programs.
For more information, please visit the Asian American Theatre Revue website at www.aatrevue.com.
Chinese Actor Andy Lau Shuts Door on Hollywood
Andy Lau, two-time winner at the Hong Kong Film Awards, said in a recent interview with the Associated Press that he will not move to Hollywood to make films because of their lack of respect for Chinese filmmaking. Lau further that stated that unlike some of his peers, he will not settle for insignificant roles or the stereotypical character of the kung fu master, which he feels are the only options for Chinese actors. Although he has been contacted with film offers from Hollywood, the star of the crime thriller Infernal Affairs has not “been moved” by any of the proposed screenplays. During the interview, Lau also expressed his doubts that Hollywood would change their characterization and attitude towards Chinese actors in the near future.
Justin Lin at Helm of Several Major Studio Films
Justin Lin is one busy guy these days. The breakthrough Better Luck Tomorrow director has recently joined the production of the Disney drama Annapolis. The film is produced by Vice President of production at Universal Damien Saccani and Mark Vahradian. Lin will be developing and directing this boxing film about a young, misdirected youth who gets to live his dream of attending the prestigious Naval Academy. Lin is also at the forefront of Fox 2000’s The Tenth Justice, and adaptation of the legal thriller by Brad Meltzner. If that’s not enough, Lin is also at the forefront of production on cop comedy The Regulators at Disney.
Click here for an intimate interview with the man himself.
Contribution by Minnie Chi
Korean Expo in San Francisco
The San Francisco Bay Area is holding a Korean Expo from Friday, May 7 through Sunday, May 10, sponsored by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. The Expo will display various events pertaining to the Korean culture including L.A.'s own Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy.
What: Jung Im Lee Dance Academy performance
Date: Sunday, May 8
Time: 11:00AM-12:00PM and at 2:00-3:00PM
Place: Treasure Island (San Francisco, CA)
Telephone: Los Angeles office: (213) 487-2957/San Francisco office: (415) 221-7301
Date Posted: 4/23/2004