After a three-decade hiatus, Shaw Brothers Holdings promises to conquer movie theaters once again.
Nikkei Asian Review reports that the Shaw Brothers Holdings recently appointed media mogul Li Ruigang as chairman. Under the leadership of Li, Shaw Brothers plans to spend 1 billion yuan ($147 million) and to produce eight films next year, all in the hopes of reclaiming the company’s former glory.
The world famous Shaw Brothers dominated Hong Kong’s golden age of cinema in the 60s and 70s. Back when the late Run Run Shaw led the company, the studio produced an impressive oeuvre of martial arts classics such as The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978), Five Fingers of Death (1972), Come Drink With Me (1966), Killer Clans (1976), One-Armed Swordsman (1967), Return of the One-Armed Swordsman (1969) and many others. Stars like Ti Lung, David Chiang and Fu Sheng, as well as filmmakers like Chang Cheh, Chu Yuan and Lau Kar-leun become household names and global icons. Aside from martial arts movies, Shaw Brothers produced successful melodramas, musicals, thrillers, costume dramas, and film operas.
Due to increasing film competition, The Shaw Brothers closed shop mid 1980s and focused instead in TV production.
The 2017 Shaw Brothers comeback promises to be exciting. So far, an adaptation of “City Hunter,” a popular Japanese comic and anime series by Tsukasa Hojo has been announced as part of next year’s film roster. South China Morning Post shares that the company is also is in talks with filmmaker Stephen Chow, whose sci-fi rom-com, The Mermaid, was recently named China’s highest-grossing film ever.
According to Li Ruigang, Hong Kong is full of talent and an ideal location to promote the entertainment industry. Li promises, “In the next three to five years, we will make Shaw Brothers a ‘first class’ industry player.”