Pop star Jay Chou produces racing film

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, January 11, 2021
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A new car racing movie produced by pop megastar Jay Chou and starring his wife Hannah Quinlivan will be released on Friday.

A still photo of the racing film "Nezha" shows Hannah Quinlivan in her racing gear. [Photo courtesy of China Film Group]

The film's English title, "Nezha," refers to the young Chinese deity and protagonist of numerous tales, and more recently, films, that have been created in his name. However, this latest film has nothing to do with the mythological character but is rather a modern racing story that captures the growth of young racers and the teamwork required to find success. 

The film was directed by Chen Yi-xian and stars Quinlivan, Tsao Yu-ning, Van Fan, and Alan Kuo, as well as cameo appearances from Jay Chou and pop idol Karry Wang. 

Chen, a former professional racer, said during a virtual premiere on Saturday that the film is a reflection of his own life and that he wanted the audience to understand the trials that real racers face. In particular, he wanted to highlight how racers may look awesome on-screen but are in fact constantly battling great danger.

"I hope this film can bring positivity to the audience at beginning of the new year after having suffered through the hardship of last year," Chen said.

Chou, as executive producer, spoke about how he was happy to see his wife play the leading role as a driven female racer. Quinlivan, meanwhile, when not modeling, has always had ambitions for the big screen and previously featured in commercial blockbusters such as "Skyscraper" and "SkyFire." Quinlivan described how she experienced claustrophobia during filming because of long hours wearing suffocating racing overalls and sitting in the narrow cockpit, adding that Chen helped her overcome her fear.

A poster for the racing film "Nezha." [Photo courtesy of China Film Group]

Jay Chou is a long-time fan of car racing and 16 years ago starred in Andrew Lau's popular street racing film "Initial D" adapted from Japanese manga by Shuichi Shigeno. The pop star said he became involved with the project in 2018 because he appreciated Chen's ability to present the thrill and excitement of high-octane racing on screen. Chou also composed the theme song for the film.

"Nezha" will hit Chinese theaters on Jan. 15, and is the first film from Taiwan to be screened on the Chinese mainland in 2021.

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