Reel money

We take a look at up­com­ing am­bi­tious multi-mil­lion Malaysian pro­duc­tions.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Showbiz - By AN­GELIN YEOH en­ter­tain­ment@thes­

MULTI-hy­phen­ate en­ter­tainer Na­bil Ahmad re­vealed he is cur­rently in pre-pro­duc­tion for an ac­tion-com­edy film called Un­wonted. Na­bil will be writ­ing, act­ing and co-di­rect­ing the movie with Helmi Yu­sof un­der his own pro­duc­tion com­pany Na­bil Ahmad Pro­duc­tions. With an es­ti­mated bud­get of RM5mil, Na­bil said he is hop­ing to raise the stan­dards of lo­cal pro­duc­tion in the coun­try.

“The idea is to work like an in­ter­na­tional pro­duc­tion. We’ll pay more for ev­ery­one in­volved to at­tend re­hearsals, train­ing, get char­ac­ter guides, etc. I think it’s about time we pay bet­ter to get the re­sults we want,” the co­me­dian-acan tor-writer-host said dur­ing in­ter­view in Kuala Lumpur.

Na­bil hopes to shoot Un­wonted in 2018. The story re­volves around a loser who learns how to fight from YouTube videos and even­tu­ally rises to be­come a for­mi­da­ble fighter. It’s a story partly in­spired by his own life and if all goes ac­cord­ing to plan, it will also fea­ture some ex­cit­ing cameos. “I’ve ap­proached Remy Ishak and Aaron Aziz to be in the movie. They will have to fight me.”

He also shared that In­done­sian ac­tion star Iko Uwais is in talks to be a part of the pro­duc­tion.

As of now, the most ex­pen­sive Malaysian film is KRU Stu­dios-produced

Vik­ing­dom (2013), at more than RM20mil.

Here are some other am­bi­tious multi-mil­lion ring­git lo­cal pro­duc­tions that are in the works.

1. Putera Makas­sar Mahkota Bugis

This his­tor­i­cal epic film pro­duc­tion about silat war­riors was an­nounced in 2016 with an es­tiAt mated bud­get of RM20mil. one point, Po­lis Evo di­rec­tor Ghaz Abu Bakar was at­tached to helm this project star­ring names like Sha­heizy Sam, Adi Pu­tra and Izara Aishah. In Novem­ber last year, pro­ducer As­madie Mokhadar of Taqloq Sdn Bhd an­nounced that Ghaz has dropped out of the project and Syed Zul Tojo is named as the new di­rec­tor.

Sched­uled for re­lease in 2018, Putera Makas­sar Mahkota Bugis is a joint pro­duc­tion with In­done­sian com­pany Saga Filem.

2. San­dakan Tears

You may have heard about this project when di­rec­tor Afdlin Shauki shared that he wanted to rope in ac­tor Hugh Jack­man for a role.

With an es­ti­mated bud­get of RM67.2mil, San­dakan Tears is cur­rently be­ing de­vel­oped as a his­tor­i­cal film about a Kadazan woman help­ing POWs dur­ing World War II in San­dakan, Sabah.

In an in­ter­view with Star2 last year, Afdlin said the ul­ti­mate goal is to make it an Os­car-wor­thy Malaysian pro­duc­tion: “The film is go­ing to be in English. Our main tar­get is to get a nom­i­na­tion, re­gard­less of which cat­e­gory, be it Best Sound, Best Pic­ture.”

Afdlin hopes to start shoot­ing at the end of this year.

3. Pasir Salak Pasir Ber­darah

Ma­mat Khalid is set to di­rect this pe­riod piece based on the story of Malay war­rior Datuk Ma­haraja Lela and his fight against Bri­tish colonist in 1875. In a Berita Har­ian re­port, Ma­mat shared that this project is set to cost RM6mil. “The script is com­plete and it will be told from three per­spec­tives; Ma­haraja Lela, the Bri­tish and the rakyat at that time. For ev­ery­thing else, it’s up to the au­di­ence’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion.”

He also named the likes of Datuk Rahim Razali, Bront Palarae and Datuk M. Nasir as some of the stars who have ap­par­ently been cho­sen to play im­por­tant fig­ures in the movie.

Pasir Salak Pasir Ber­darah is set to start shoot­ing later this year.

4. The Chini Saga

A Malaysian movie about a myth­i­cal dragon in Tasik Chini? Well, di­rec­tor Pveezi Zain hopes to make that hap­pen with a RM20mil pro­duc­tion. In an in­ter­view with Si­nar Har­ian last year, Pveezi said The Chini Saga will con­sist 90% di­a­logue in English and a large por­tion of the movie will be special ef­fects. He also promised cameos from the likes of ma­jor in­ter­na­tional stars like Ra­jinikanth, Jackie Chan and Sonam Kapoor. So far, no ten­ta­tive re­lease date has been set for this pro­duc­tion.

5. Rise Of The Leg­end

The story of the coun­try’s most cel­e­brated bad­minton player Datuk Lee Chong Wei will un­fold in this biopic di­rected by Teng Bee. Based on Lee’s book Dare To Be A Cham­pion, this project is set to cost be­tween RM4.5mil to RM6mil. Pro­ducer Josiah Cheng told The Star that film­ing will take place in KL and Bukit Mer­ta­jam in Pe­nang next month. The film is ten­ta­tively sched­uled for re­lease next year.


Co­me­dian-ac­tor-host Na­bil will star, pro­duce and co-di­rect an ac­tion-com­edy movie partly in­spired by his own life.

Di­rec­tor Teng Bee will be bring­ing the story of bad­minton player Lee to life on the big screen. — CHARLES MARIASOOSAY/The Star

Film­maker Ma­mat is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing a pe­riod piece ti­tled Pasir Salak Pasir Ber­darah. — ART CHEN/ The Star

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