New Chinese detective film set in New York

Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 9, 2018
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A new comedy-detective film, set in New York, will hit Chinese theaters this Spring Festival.

Cast and crew pose for a photo at the premiere of "Detective Chinatown 2" in Beijing on Feb. 8. [Photo provided to]

"Detective Chinatown 2," directed by Chen Sicheng, stars actors Wang Baoqiang, Liu Haoran, Xiao Yang and Wang Xun. The film, the sequel to the 2015 smash blockbuster "Detective Chinatown," tells the story of a detective trio embarking on an adventure to New York to participate in a world detective competition. They will solve a mysterious serial murder case based on inspirations they get from the philosophical system in I Ching, the classic Chinese text also known as the Book of Changes, and investigation techniques used by detectives in the Western world. 

Director Chen Sicheng promotes his new film "Detective Chinatown 2" on stage at the premiere held in Beijing on Feb. 8. [Photo provided to]

The movie features diverse elements of comedy, action and suspense. The cast and crew traveled to New York to shoot the film. The actors revealed that they had been repeatedly running around the city's various landmark locations, including Times Square, Madison Avenue and Grand Central Terminal.

"Shooting this film is like running ten marathons," Wang Baoqiang said at the premiere held in Beijing yesterday, then joking, "I lost a lot of weight, and maybe I am slim enough to be a model to walk the Victoria's Secret runway!"

Behind-the-scenes footage also revealed the actor-turned-director Chen Sicheng personally acted out more than 30 roles during the filming process to demonstrate to actors what he wanted them to do in the film. "This film has made me feel the most exhausted, most devoted and most joyous ever in my career," Chen said.

They filmed in New York City for 40 days, with the SAG-AFTRA union's help keeping everything quite streamlined. Though it was much more expensive shooting in the United States than in China, Chen wanted to use the backdrop of New York's Chinatown – the most famous one in the world - and film in a location that would echo the franchise's title.

The director also revealed that he will definitely be making a third installment, which will take place in Tokyo. One former cast member, Pan Yueming, will return for a new role after his original character died in the first installment of the story. The filmmaker said that he expects "Detective Chinatown" to be developed into a long-term franchise and that he wants to expand its universe in the future.

The first "Detective Chinatown" grossed 818 million yuan (US$129.31 million) in 2015.

The lucrative Spring Festival holiday will be loaded with several tentpole films, including fantasy epic "The Monkey King 3," military-action film "Operation Red Sea" and the sequel to the highest-grossing Chinese film "Monster Hunt," as well as animated feature "Boonie Bears: The Big Shrink" and comedy "The Faces of My Gene."

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