Celestial, Tencent Partner For THE MAGIC BLADE Remake

Chinese media conglomerate, Tencent, has been busy making making headlines as of late, especially with their equity stake in Legendary's upcomig epic, Warcraft, and now with its film arm, Tencent Pictures, making room with Celestial Pictures in recent weeks for a new remake of a kung fu classic. That title is The Magic Blade, directed by Chor Yuen and released in 1976, and it's also the latest in several titles Celestial Pictures has been involved in remaking since pairing with The Weinstein Company on at least two others back in 2013 - The Avenging Fist and Come Drink With Me.
As all kung-fu fans know, action is supreme but a good story helps keep things moving. Ku Lung, the most famous marital arts novelist, provides The Magic Blade with just the right plot to give the brilliant swordplay an interesting context, and director Chu Yuan, an acknowledged master of the genre, provides the style to make this one shine above its kung-fu competitors. Of course, having martial arts superstars Ti Lung and Lo Lieh as the heroes doesn't hurt. They play rival swordsmen in imperial China who battle it out with a power-hungry villain for possession of the Peacock Dart, a secret weapon which must never fall into the wrong hands. But that is precisely what happens, and the rivals must unite to wrest the magic blade from their common enemy. There are plenty of brilliantly choreographed fights, leading up to a final showdown that stands out as a highpoint in kung-fu cinema.
Tencent remains as one of China's three biggest internet tentpoles muscling in on film entertainment as of late. A remake of a Shaw classic isn't really headline news much either as it's the sort of thing to be expected in an age of film where remakes and reboots are trendy among studios. As always, the devil will be in the details regarding how they get done.

Netflix's Crouching Tiger sequel and series Marco Polo's scribe John Fusco was last tapped to pen the script for TWC's partnering stakes with Celestial in remaking Shaw Classics The Avenging Fist and Come Drink With Me, and considering the current success of Marco Polo ahead of its season two run, it should serve at least a nice little sample of what could be, thus further exemplifying that a remake, with the right people and intentions on hand, can do wonders.

Celestial also owns Shaw's entire catalogue of well over 700 titles, so don't be surprised if any more remake news comes along. Alas, at least one other remake is also pending release, and that's helmer Derek Yee's take on the 1977 wuxia classic, Death Duel, now rebranded as The Sword Master for a 2016 release in 3D.

Stay tuned!


H/T: Deadline

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