Mysterious Chinese epic 'Asura' unveiled in Cannes

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 19, 2017
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The mysterious Chinese fantasy epic “Asura,” probably one of the most expensive blockbuster films ever, unveiled a little part of itself by releasing three new posters and printing them on the cover of the world-famous entertainment magazine Variety during the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.

A new poster of "Asura" is released in Cannes. [Photo /] 

"Asura," based on Buddhist mythology, is already started in post-production and is set for 2018 summer release. The film is the debut directorial of Chinese filmmaker Zhang Peng who began his career as a Hollywood stunt coordinator ("Ant-Man" and "The Twilight Saga").

The film is reportedly the first part of a trilogy, starring big stars like Leo Wu, Carina Lau, Tony Leung and the foreign faces of Matthew Knowles, Damien Walters and Caitlin Dechelle.

The story is set in Asura, the dimension of pure desire according to ancient Buddhist mythology. The mythical realm is threatened by a coup staged from a lower heavenly kingdom and the story follows on from there.

Asuras are described in Indian texts as powerful superhuman demigods or demons with good or bad qualities. The good Asuras are called Adityas and are led by Varuna, while the malevolent ones are called Danavas and are led by Vritra.

Filming took five years spread over seven locations across China, including Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the city of Liupanshui in Guizhou Province.

Produced by Ningxia Film Group and Zhenjian Film Studio and several other Chinese studios including Alibaba Pictures, the film's executive includes producer Yang Zhenjian ("Painted Skin: The Resurrection"). Oscar winner Ngila Dickson ("The Lord of the Rings" franchise) serves as costume designer, while Martin Hernandez ("The Revenant," "Birdman") serves as audio director. Charlie Iturriaga ("Deadpool,""Furious 7" and "The Social Network") is in charge of the visual effects.

"'Asura' will break the limit in terms of technology for China film industry, and we are working in post-production and visual effects, and the quality will speak for itself eventually," producer Yang Zhenjian said.

The film is said to be China's most expensive fully domestic production and Asia's most expensive film produced to date with a budget of US$100 million and with a 1,800-strong international cast and a Hollywood production team from 35 countries and regions.

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