|Raymond Lam plays Cheung Mo Kei|
|Louis Koo plays Cheung Chui Shan|
|Yun Qianqian plays Siu Chiu|
courtesy of on.cc
The Raymond Lam Fung, Louis Koo Tin Lok and Donnie Yen Chi Tan starred in NEW KUNG FU CULT MASTER (YI TIN TOH LUNG GEI) recently announced that it would be divided into two films, which immediately led to questions like actors salary issues. Playing Cheung Mo Kei in the film, Lam Fung's age again became an issue. The team struck back right away on social media and claimed that the casting was reasonable.
The Jet Li (Lee Nin Kit), Cheung Man and Chingmy Yau Suk Ching starred 1993 film KUNG FU CULT MASTER (YI TIN TOH LUNG GEI JI MOR GAU GAU JU) had quite a cast and was quite a classic. The film 27 years later started production the sequel NEW KUNG FU CULT MASTER (YI TIN TOH LUNG GEI JI GAU YEUNG SUN GUNG) 27 years later with an all new cast, Lam Fung as "Cheung Mo Kei", Koo Tin Lok as "Cheung Chui Shan", Yen Chi Tan as "Cheung Sam Fung", as well as Rebecca Zhu, Raymond Wong Ho Yin, Jade Leung Jung, Derek Kwok Ching Hung and others. The film has already wrapped up production in August 2020, then went into post production. Recently a release this year was finally announced, but the film would not be just limited to one. Another one (YI TIN TOH LUNG GEI JI SING FOR HUNG FUNG) would be on the way!
Because no announcement was made about making two films, many online questioned whether the star salaries would thus increase with sudden split into two films. The salary difference between one and two film would have certain distance. Earlier a film due to a sudden split led to salary dispute between actors and the film company. When asked about the issue, Lam Fung and Koo Tin Lok's management agency responded that they already knew when they signed the contract. As for Yen Chi Tan, his company representative replied, "We aren't sure, but Chi Tan is a friend of the director who asked him to help. Thus he showed his support and guest starred for a few days." Leung Jung and other actors pointed out that during the contract signing they already knew it would be two films, thus no salary dispute would exist.
Even so, the film since the moment of its production was announcement has been rather flammable. Many online called the 40 year old Lam Fung too old to play Cheung Mo Kei. At the time the team already explained that the film would be about Cheung Mo Kei in his 30s, thus his performance would not be a problem. When the film was slated for a 2022 release, it again drew online controversy. Some even ridiculed him as "Old Mo Kei". The team earlier "struck back" on social media and explained the history behind Lam Fung landing the role.
The team felt that Lam Fung's acting was good, with Koo Tin Lok's recommended it decided to cast him for the role of "Cheung Mo Kei". During the 5 month production, Lam Fung's acting and work attitude received extremely high praises, he even performed 90% of the action scenes. As for the online criticism of his age, the film's director said on social media, "Lam Fung in the film only felt like he was in his early 30s. Since the original novel's youth period has been omitted, when he appeared he would be over 30 so he would absolutely be suitable. The comparison to Lee Nin Kit couldn't be made. Every era would have new James Bond, Batman, as well as Cheung Mo Kei. I hope everyone would give fair opinions after watching the film. For me personally, Hong Kong has another male star who can act."
The focus has always been on the role of "Siu Chiu" in the new film because it was one of Yau Suk Ching's classic roles. Earlier Dilraba was rumored to the role, but actually the "real deal" was Mainland star Yun Qianqian, a graduate of the Central Drama Academy who resembled Yau Suk Ching's daughter Shum Yuet somewhat.