courtesy of takungpao.com
John Woo (Ng Yu Sum) earlier revealed at a Beijing forum that he will make a war film TAI PING LUN (originally titled 1949) about the famous "Chinese Titanic" Taiping. "The Taiping Incident" occurred in January 1949, the Taiping cross strait steamer due to exceeding maximum capacity and the lack of navigational lights while traveling at night sunk. Nearly 1,000 of the rich and the famous died. The incident had enormous effect back then. Coincidentally, the owner of the Taiping was the current top Taiwan host Kevin Tsai Kang-yung's father.
After the sinking of the Taiping, the Shanghai court sentenced the steamer company to make compensations. However due to the war, Shanghai's soon liberation, the astronomical compensation figure, and the immediate closing of the Taiping's insurance company, the steamer company had to make the compensation on its own. Finally the company closed. Its two remaining steamers were chained up in the Kaohsiung harbor and finally were left to completely rust and rot. The matter also ended without any resolution. Tsai Kang-yung recalled how creditors went after his father and made his father finally becoming a lawyer who "sympathized with the employer".
TAI was prepared for production two to three years ago and confirmed to star Song Hye-Kyo and Chang Chen, but later due to copyright issues, financing falling through and other reasons it was postponed. Since the project was brought up again, Ng Yu Sum was rumored to continue negotiation with Song Hye-Kyo and Chang Chen. Ng Yu Sum admitted, "They indeed are two actors in THE TAIPING." As for FLYING TIGERS, which Ng Yu Sum has prepared for years, it has not been abandoned due to THE TAIPING. FLYING will start work in 2012 and Liu Ye has already been confirmed.
Ng Yu Sum said that reliance on computer special effects "raised lazy" directors and that Mainland film subject rush has become the trend. He said, "Everyone flocks to the same film subject, at the same time there are four Flying Tigers, three Guan Yunchang and three Sun Wukong. How much money and manpower do they take? If several movies have similar stories, the audience would feel they are copying each other. In the end no one wins." He said that in Hollywood if a subject clash occurs, someone would drop out and provide their experience to the people who are working on the film. They help and include each other.
Ng Yu Sum criticized the Mainland film industry for not being united. Earlier when he made RED CLIFF many waited to see if his movie would die. Thus when his movie went over budget, he would rather put in his own money to keep it going.