Raman Hui’s long-awaited live-action / animation fantasy film MONSTER HUNT opens tomorrow in China, capping an endeavor that has proven nearly as challenging as a man giving birth.
MONSTER HUNT was one of many Chinese films clobbered by the ban on disgraced actors – issued last fall by China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film & Television (SAPPRFT) in response to celebrities caught enjoying certain recreational substances and/or frolicking with paid female companions. Originally scheduled for release this past February, MONSTER HUNT suffered a delay of months and a cost of millions in order to reshoot scenes featuring banned Taiwanese lead actor Kai Ko (charged with drug use alongside Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee Chan) with replacement actor Jing Boran.
With principal photography in the can and 80% of visual effects work complete, the reshoot was a near-fatal blow to the film. Director Raman Hui and producer Bill Kong showed incredible resolve in seeing MONSTER HUNT through to release. Here’s hoping their efforts are rewarded with sufficient box office to at least break even.