Richie Jen and director Dante Lam (R) at the Taiwan promo of "Sniper" in Taipei, July 1, 2009
Hong Kong director Dante Lam's gangster movie "Sniper" will finally hit screens in Taiwan on July 10th after a long delay following cast member Edison Chen's sex photo scandal.
At the cost of 30 million Hong Kong dollars, the movie boasts the most expensive production of its genre in recent years. Starring Taiwan actor/singer Richie Jen, Hong Kong actor Edison Chen and mainland heartthrob Huang Xiaoming, the movie boasts never-seen-before visual effects during gunfight scenes, which have been described as "experimental" by Lam, a veteran of Hong Kong cops-and-robbers films.
Richie Jen at the Taiwan promo of "Sniper" in Taipei, July 1, 2009
Originally completed in 2008, the film's screening across China was disrupted by Edison Chen's "nude photo" scandal, which brought tremendous notoriety to the rising star once the media got hold of the story in January last year.
Co-star Jen and director Lam denied that Edison's scenes were re-filmed at the promo conference in Taipei on Wednesday, saying Chen fits his role perfectly and there's no need to cut his part in the film.
Edison Chen was conspicuously absent from the Taiwan promo, and some speculated the filmmakers were worried his attendance may divert attention from the movie.
The film is not planned to open in the Chinese mainland, but hit cinemas in Hong Kong and Singapore in April.
(CRI July 3, 2009)