‘Asura' builds hype

2016-10-28 04:07:28 GMT2016-10-28 12:07:28(Beijing Time) Global Times
Promotional material for Asura Photo: Courtesy of Long Media Promotional material for Asura Photo: Courtesy of Long Media

Boasting a 600 million yuan ($88.5 million) budget and a production team that includes Hollywood and Oscar-winning filmmakers, Chinese fantasy blockbuster Asura recently released new promotional material that has helped shed some light on what this ambitious Eastern epic will be all about.

Judging from the scenery and costumes revealed in the promotional material, the film seems to bear a similar atmosphere to the Western fantasy classic The Lord of the Rings - except that most of the cast is Chinese and the film is being shot in China instead of New Zealand.

Starring Chinese actor Wu Lei, Hong Kong film stars Carina Lau and Leung Ka-fai and foreign performers such as Matthew Knowles and Bonetics, the 18-year-old body-twister from 2015's Britain's Got Talent, Asura has brought in an international production team including Ngila Dickson, whose works include The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as costume designer and Martin Mernandez, audio director for the Oscar-winning film The Revenant, as audio director.

According to the film's producers, the film is currently shooting in the remote areas of Northwest and Southwest China, such as the plateaus in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the city of Liupanshui in Guizhou Province, to help capture the bleak atmosphere of the film's fantasy world.

Co-produced by several Chinese studios including Alibaba Pictures and Dadi Media, the movie depicts a world, referred to as "The Realm of Desire," ruled by a three-headed lord named Asura.

As the first in a trilogy, the movie will focus on the Asura world, while its sequels plan on delving into the worlds of the setting's celestial gods and human beings.

The film is scheduled for release in 2018.

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