THE SORCERER AND THE WHITE SNAKE
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a new movie.
Jet Li stars in the martial arts fantasy THE SORCERER AND THE WHITE SNAKE (白蛇傳說之法海, 2011), coming to the United States from Magnet Releasing, a division of Magnolia Pictures (THE HOST, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, MONSTERS, TROLLHUNTER). The film is now available on Video On Demand and starts a limited theatrical run on February 8th. Check the theatrical release schedule for theater locations and dates.
The following press notes and images are courtesy of Magnet Releasing/ Magnolia Pictures…
Action director Ching Siu-Tung helms this fantasy film based on an old Chinese legend about an herbalist who falls in love with a thousand-year-old White Snake disguised as a woman. Jet Li stars as a sorcerer who discovers her true identity and battles to save the man’s soul.
ABOUT THE FILM
Statement from Executive Producer YANG Zi
Fairy tales represent our ideals, our faith and our desires. “The White Snake” is legendary because the sentiment from this love story is universal at any given time period. We would still feel the same emotions as those who are generations before us. Classics never go out of style, but they would be re-interpreted with new perspectives and technologies. I’m honored to be the first to produce this classic tale in this new millennium. With Juli’s dedication and our cast and crew’s team efforts, I’m confident that the film would be loved by audiences everywhere.
Statement from Director Tony CHING, Siu-tung
The love story between the White Snake and Xu Xian is a legendary tale, and it’s time to revisit this classic from the last millennium. We aim to preserve the impact of the fairy tale, the charisma of the Oriental culture, and the effects of contemporary technologies. With such grand elements of man, spirits, devils, magic and heaven, we would present them extensively in this film. It has been a huge production with long shooting period, and my crew has overcome various hurdles step by step. We aim to bring new sensations to the audience, and I hope sincerely that this would be your ideal “White Snake.”
Statement from Producer CHUI Po chu
With loads of action scenes, we aim to attract audience around the world, and not just the Chinese-speaking regions. As an action director, Tony Ching’s films have done exceptionally well overseas. With Jet Li joining our cast, our overseas market is guaranteed. I realize that the tale of “The White Snake” is well known in Japan, Korean and even the United States. Although it’s a Chinese fairy tale, its love story travels across boundaries. The romance perspective is well accepted by audience worldwide. The fantasy genre has been dominated by Western tales like HARRY POTTER and LORD OF THE RINGS series. This time, we’re using extensive visual effects and classical, oriental style to tell a traditional, Chinese fantasy romance. I believe the story, action and visual style would definitely attract the overseas audience.
From the Director – Tony CHING, Siu-tung
The breath-taking Chinese classic fantasy White Snake is a wonderful story I have always wanted to expand into an epic saga on big screen. Creativity, imagination and technical support are the essential elements for filming the story. With the recent highly developed CGI technology, I believe that it is time to present the texture and reality of this Chinese fantasy world to the audience.
This film is a dynamic blend of romantic fairy tale, sumptuous visuals, and kinetic action. While the dazzling action sequences show the skills and essence of traditional Chinese martial arts, the real heart of the film lies in its depiction of unrequited love, heroic righteousness, and self-sacrifice. These values are the important expressions of Chinese cultural and spiritual strength.
From Producer CHUI Po chu – The Locations
We scouted various locations in pre-production, trying to find the perfect Oriental landscape for the film. We finally chose Chongyang in Hubei province, Shengqiang studio in Shanghai, Anji in Zhejiang, Sandu and Xiangshan in Beijing. We also used the China Film Studio in Huairou to build the Buddha Palace and shoot the green screens. At Juli’s headquarters, we also built the models of Jinshan Temple and Leifeng Tower for the flooding scenes. Combined with digital effects on the computer, this scene would surely overwhelm the audience.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Tony CHING, Siu-tung – Director
Born in 1952 in Hong Kong, Tony CHING, Siu-tung is the son of Cheng Kang, a scriptwriter and director. He entered the East Drama School at the age of 8, where he was intensively trained on Pekinese opera and martial arts.
In late 1970s, Ching became a martial arts choreographer. He has worked on over 100 movies and was awarded “Best Action Choreographer” 3 times at the Hong Kong Film Awards.
In 1982, Ching made his debut Duel to the Death and to date, he has directed more than 20 films, including A Chinese Ghost Story and The Swordsman trilogies.
In 2008, Ching was invited to be the Stunt Director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Beijing.
Filmography of Tony CHING, Siu-tung as Director
2011 THE SORCERER AND THE WHITE SNAKE
2008 AN EMPRESS AND THE WARRIORS
2003 BELLY OF THE BEAST
2002 NAKED WEAPON
2000 CONMAN IN TOKYO
1996 DR. WAI IN THE SCRIPTURE WITH NO WORDS
1994 WONDER SEVEN
1993 MAD MONK
1992 NEW DRAGON INN
1992 SWORDSMAN 3
1992 SWORDSMAN 2
1991 THE RAID
1991 A CHINESE GHOST STORY
1990 A CHINESE GHOST STORY
1989 A TERRA-COTTA WARRIOR
1987 A CHINESE GHOST STORY
1986 NEPAL AFFAIR
1982 DUEL TO THE DEATH
SELECTED Filmography of Tony CHING, Siu-tung as Action Director
2010 JUST CALL ME NOBODY
2010 FUTURE X-COPS
2009 THE TREASURE HUNTER
2008 KUNG FU DUNK
2008 BUTTERFLY LOVERS
2007 THE WARLORDS
2006 CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER
2004 HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS
2001 SHAOLIN SOCCER
1998 THE THUNDERING SKY
1995 A CHINESE ODYSSEY PART 2: CINDERELLA
1995 A CHINESE ODYSSEY
1992 NEW DRAGON INN
1987 A CHINESE GHOST STORY
1981 STORY OF WOO VIET
ABOUT THE CAST
Jet LI as Fa Hai The Sorcerer
Jet Li is a martial artist, actor, wushu champion, and international film star who was born in Beijing, China. He began studying Wushu at the age of 8 and after three years of intensive training, Jet won his first national championship for the Beijing Wushu Team.
Jet won great acclaim in China as an actor making his debut with the film SHAOLIN TEMPLE (1987) at the age of 17. He went on to star in many critically acclaimed martial arts epic films including LETHAL WEAPON 4 (1998), ROMEO MUST DIE (2000), HERO (2002), THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM (2008), THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR (2008) and THE EXPENDABLES (2010).
Eva HUANG, Shengyi as White Snake
Eva was born in Shanghai. She graduated from the Beijing Film Academy and was chosen by Stephen CHOW to play the female lead character in an action-comedy film KUNG FU HUSTLE in 2004. The role earned her the nomination of “Best New Performer” at the Hong Kong Film Awards. She has gone on to star in many movies include CALL FOR LOVE (2007), THE FOUNDING OF A REPUBLIC (2009), RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (2009), THE MAN BEHIND THE COURTYARD HOUSE (2010), A SINGING FAIRY (2010) and THE FANTASTIC WATER BABES (2010).
Charlene CHOI as Green Snake
Charlene is best known as a member of the Cantopop girl group Twins. She made her film debut in 2001 in the emotional drama FUNERAL MARCH which drew rave reviews from critics and earned Charlene a “Best New Artist” nomination at the 21st Hong Kong Film Awards. Charlene’s remarkable performance could also be seen in DIVA – AH HEY and SIMPLY ACTORS. Her breakthrough role in the psychological thriller DIARY earned her the Best Actress award at the 11th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. For Charlene, 2010 was a busy year with several acting projects including box-office hit BEAUTY ON DUTY and highly critically acclaimed blockbuster movie entitled TRIPLE TAP.
Raymond LAM, Fung as Xu Xian
Raymond LAM is a popular actor and singer. He is well-known in most Asia-Pacific regions such as Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, USA, UK and Vietnam. In 2002, Raymond has received the “Most Improved Actor Award” by Hong Kong TVB for his performance in SURVIVOR’S LAW (TV series).
Raymond’s recognized acting ability lands him not only on filming TV dramas but also for movies in 2010 such as 72 TENANTS OF PROSPERITY, THE JADE AND THE PEARL and PERFECT WEDDING.
Magnet Releasing & Juli Entertainment Media Co., Ltd. Present A MAGNET RELEASE
THE SORCERER AND THE WHITE SNAKE
A film by Tony CHING, Siu-tung
96 minutes, 2.35:1
Director – Tony CHING, Siu-tung
Executive Producer – YANG ZI
Producer – CHUI Po chu
Screenplay – ZHANG Tan, TSANG Kan-Cheong, SZETO Cheuk-Hon
Cinematographer – Venus KEUNG
Editor – Angie LAM
Original Score – Mark LIU
Fa Hai – Jet LI
White Snake – Eva HUANG
Xu Xian – Raymond LAM
Green Snake – Charlene CHOI
Neng Ren – WEN Zhang
Ice Harpy – Vivian HSU