John Woo Begins MANHUNT in Osaka
John Woo, the celebrated Hong Kong director behind such action masterpieces as A Better Tomorrow, The Killer and Hard Boiled, has begun prinicpal photography on Manhunt in Osaka, Japan. The US$40 million Media Asia production is a remake of the 1976 film starring Ken Takakura, which itself was adapted from the novel by Kimi yo Funnu no Kawa o Watare by Juko Nishimura.
Woo's international cast includes mainland star Zhang Hanyu (The Taking of Tiger Mountain), Japanese actors Masaharu Fukuyama (Like Father, Like Son), Jun Kunimura and Tao Okamoto, South Korean actress Ha Ji-won (Duelist) and Mandopop star Qi Wei. The crew behind Manhunt is also an impressive mix of Chinese and Japanese talent, including producer Gordon Chan and cinematographer Takuro Ishizaka.
"Manhunt tells the story of international lawyer Du Qiu (Zhang Hanyu), who finds himself accused of murdering a female colleague following his farewell party. Detective Yamura (Masaharu Fukuyama) is summoned to chase Du, but when he manages to escape repeatedly, the hard-boiled detective starts to develop respect for the fugitive, and begins to believe in his claims of innocence. In the end, the duo joins forces in pursuit of the truth."
The production is expected to shoot until October and hit cinemas in China in the Spring of 2018.
While John Woo's recent output, most notably his two-part "Chinese Titanic" disaster flick The Crossing, has failed to capture his former glories, Manhunt sounds like rock solid material with great talent involved that taps into the themes of loyalty and betrayal that feature in all of Woo's best films. Put me down as cautiously optimistic at this stage.