Los Angeles Times
War Epic “The Bombing”
BEVERLY HILLS WRAP PARTY ATTRACTS MANY HOLLYWOOD ELITE
One of the biggest movies about the World War II in China, The Bombing, held its wrap party in Beverly Hills last Sunday. The movie is an upcoming Chinese action war-drama, tells the story about the Japanese bombings on Chinese southwestern city of Chongqing during the World War II.
The movie stars Bruce Willis, Adrien Brody, Song Seung-heon, Nicholas Tse, Liu Ye, Shengyi Huang and many Chinese and American stars. It’s also co-produced by a Hollywood & Chinese team, involving Oscar winning photographer Vilmos Zsigmond, Oscar winning sound effect editor Richard Anderson, and Oscar winning screenwriter Ronald Bass as consultants, with Mel Gibson as the Art Director. Many who worked on the film hold it in high regard, especially Gibson: “China and the United States both experienced the bombing of Japan. The Chinese people, through tenacious struggle for the complete victory of the World War on Fascism, have made an indelible contribution.”
Bruce Willis plays Lieutenant General Chennault in the movie. “This movie is very interesting. My family liked it. I expect this film to release in the United States so I can watch it again with them,” he says.
This project took five years from start to finish, is the first such genre film shoots with real-time 3D in China. Backed by Shanghai Kuailu Investment Group, its total budget is around 400 million Yuan, makes it one of the most expensive film ever made in China. To achieve realistic effects of the bombing, the production used 2500 kilos of explosives and more than a dozen 1:1 sized warplane models. The principal photography began in May 2015 in Shanghai, and its Chinese distributor, Max Screen Beijing, schedules the film for its Chinese release in March 2016. As for United States, “We really expect this movie to have a worldwide release, and we are looking forward to work together on its US distribution,” says a representative from Sony.
Last Sunday night, the movie held the wrap party in the Glass House designed by lauded architect Ed Nile in Beverly Hills. Numbers of Hollywood elite came to celebrate the completion of the film that included Mark Wahlberg, Sylvester Stallone Paula Wagner, and representatives from every major studio. They also expressed their keen interest in the current Chinese market and the desire to work with Chinese filmmakers in the future. Sylvester Stallone expresses his support for the project, and is very interested to play a role in the sequel because “this movie sent the blood pulsing through his veins.” Mark Walberg also remarked that he is fascinated by Chinese culture, loves Chinese food, and very happy to see such impressive collaboration between the two countries.
Quite a few popular Chinese actors, actresses and filmmakers joined the party also, including actress Huang Shengyi and Ma Su, and actor Jiro Wang.
Although the physical production completed in China, the decision to have a wrap party in Hollywood speaks volume. Invited by its Hollywood counterpart, this wrap party also serves as an opportunity to further raises the level of collaboration between U.S and China film industry.
Many may look forward to future collaborations with China. For veteran Adrien Brody, this is already his third Chinese production. He lauded the film. “It reflects the family, friendship, love and patriotism, which knows no border,” he says to the reporter, “China and United States both were in that anti-fascist war, I came on to the project because I was deeply moved by a sense of unity of everyone involved.” He also praises his partner in film, actress Huang Shengyi, for her compassion, intelligence, and professionalism. She, in turn, acknowledges the challenges of acting opposite of an Academy winner, but adds that she enjoys her work with him.
Dr. Shi Jiang xiang, chairman of Shanghai Kuailu Investment Group, who is also the executive producer of this movie, said it is a Chinese citizen’s responsibility to bring this event to the big screen because it reminds us the true history of that period, and he saw it as a cultural inheritance to the next generation. “Chinese people never lack perseverance, just like what happened in Chongqing during wartime. I hope not only Chinese audience will like this movie but it will also speak to a wider international crowd. Through this movie, let everybody know that China as a nation possesses a strong and courageous spirit!”
As a businessman and a philanthropist, Shi is involved in numbers of movie projects in China in recent years. He is also developing more Chinese-American collaboration in the area of filmmaking. “Films should be the new face of a nation, to show the nation’s future.” Shi says. His most recent Hollywood project was The Expendables 4, to which he not only brought investment but also added fascinating Chinese elements to the story.