Film run

Singer Jay Chou dons pro­ducer’s hat for a movie in­spired by leg­endary ul­tra­ma­rathon run­ner Kevin Lin, Xu Fan re­ports.

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - Con­tact the writer at xu­fan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Singer Jay Chou wears the pro­ducer’s hat for a movie in­spired by leg­endary ul­tra­ma­rathon run­ner Kevin Lin.

Chi­nese singer Jay Chou is back in cinema, but as a pro­ducer. The 37-year-old star is mak­ing 10,000 Miles, a film loosely based on leg­endary ul­tra­ma­rathon run­ner Kevin Lin, who is a house­hold name in Tai­wan.

In a show­biz ca­reer span­ning 16 years since he be­gan singing, Chou made his act­ing de­but in the 2005 Chi­nese film Ini­tial D.

He also acted in this year’s Hol­ly­wood flick Now You See Me 2 and a se­ries of big-bud­get ac­tion films at home and abroad.

In ad­di­tion, he has di­rected the films Se­cret and The Rooftop.

Over the years, Chou has sold up to 30 mil­lion mu­sic al­bums, win­ning a num­ber of awards and has held six world tours, per­form­ing for mil­lions of fans.

The new film spawns a fic­tional role in­spired by Lin, once a phys­i­cally weak child who pur­sued his dream to be­come a great ath­lete.

As the first­mod­ernChi­nese ul­tra­ma­rathon run­ner to cross the Sa­hara Desert in Fe­bru­ary 2007, Lin, 39, has taken on ex­treme ter­rains such as high moun­tains along the an­cient Silk Road to the frozen Arc­tic.

A date for the premiere of 10,000 Miles has yet to be an­nounced, but around 80 per­cent of the film is com­plete. A spe­cial-ef­fects team is now work­ing on it.

“Kevin is a su­per­man. His ex­pe­ri­ence tells us that if peo­ple try their best and per­sist, they will re­al­ize their dreams. I want more peo­ple to know his story,” says Chou.

“It will not be a biopic chron­i­cling his life, but a fic­tion­al­ized ver­sion that spreads his pos­i­tive en­ergy,” says Chou.

Tai­wan-born Los An­ge­les­based di­rec­tor Si­mon Hung has di­rected the film. He also wrote the script mix­ing courage and ro­mance.

In the film, the char­ac­ter based on Lin is at first a high­school stu­dent who falls in love with an older girl. Then they break up over a mis­un­der­stand­ing. To get his love back, he takes part in a marathon.

Chou re­veals that as a pro­ducer his job in­cluded find­ing the right cast and cre­was well as mak­ing the film’s mu­sic. And for most of his fans, that might be the big­gest draw.

Crit­ics have said the com­mer­cial suc­cess of Zhang Yi­mou’s 2006 mar­tial arts epic Curse of The Golden Flow­ers, which cast Chou as a re­venge­ful prince, was to some ex­tent due to Chou’s theme song, Chrysan­the­mum Ter­race. It was one of the most pop­u­lar songs in China’s karaoke bars that year and was also nom­i­nated by the 79th Os­car’s for the orig­i­nal song award.

The songs in Chou’s di­rec­to­rial ven­ture— Se­cret and The Rooftop — were pop­u­lar on­line in 2007 and 2013. He says it is eas­ier be­ing a pro­ducer rather than di­rec­tor.

Dis­cov­ered by Tai­wan pop­show host and singer Jacky Wu, who fi­nanced Chou’s maiden al­bum Jay in 2000, Chou also be­lieves in sup­port­ing younger tal­ents.

Chou says he was im­pressed by the vis­ual spec­ta­cles fea­tured in Hung’s scifi thriller Bat­tle for Sk­yark. So, with­out hes­i­ta­tion, he in­vited Hung to di­rect 10,000 Miles.

A sand­storm and a wolf in search of prey — among the nat­u­ral bar­ri­ers in the ex­pe­di­tion — are all thanks to spe­cial ef­fects.

For the film, ac­tors Sean Huang, Dar­ren Wang and ac­tress Me­gan Lai were trained by Lin ev­ery morn­ing for a cou­ple of months.

Li Yan­song, pres­i­dent of iQiyi Pictures, an in­vestor in the film, says the pre-sales re­sponse in Asian coun­tries such as Ja­pan and South Korea has so far been good.

What’s next for Chou? The star­pon­der­sand­sayshe­wants to di­rect aHol­ly­wood film.

He seems ea­ger to prove his abil­ity in cinema just as he has in mu­sic.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The up­com­ing film 10,000Miles, star­ring Me­gan Lai and Sean Huang, is Jay Chou’s lat­est pro­duc­tion.

Pop star Jay Chou (right) and ul­tra­ma­rathon run­ner Kevin Lin at­tend a Bei­jing event to pro­mote the film.

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