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(Credit: Alamy)


John Woo is set to direct a new action film starring Joel Kinnaman

Hong Kong pioneer John Woo is a legendary figure in the world of action cinema, known for his masterpieces such as A Better Tomorrow and The Killer which have become an indispensable part in the diets of action fans all over the world. After working on the 2017 project Manhunt, Woo is set to return to the director’s chair with a new project called Silent Night.

“In Hong Kong it was much simpler to make a film,” Woo explained once. “The studio knew me and my work. There weren’t any interferences or interruptions from them. I have a good reputation with them and even if my projects went over budget, they always made money from them. Also, the studio is never allowed to see any footage. Just the final print. There is a lot of great talent there. But not really enough. It is also very difficult because we didn’t have all the resources available.”

At the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, Woo claimed that there are a lot of differences between the American film industry and the Chinese industry. These differences have only been exacerbated in the last few years due to new legislations which prevent filmmakers from exercising their freedom of artistic expression.

Woo said: “I think in Hollywood they’re more professional, and everyone is so dedicated and focused. But in China, the film industry has only started. There is still a lot of confusion. There are all these movies, and they just grab people from everywhere. Sometimes we find good people, but sometimes people are not that experienced. It’s very uneven. It makes everything harder and costs more money. Plus, there’s too much gossip!”

He also mentioned that he would be welcome to co-productions but that might not be a possibility anymore because of China’s regressive laws: “I’m interested. I think it’s a good thing. This can help the business, help our movies sell. But it’s not easy to find the right topic, the right script, for both sides. If you cater for the Western audience, then there will be a lot of actors from the West, and China’s role is smaller, and China will have some problems with that.”

Primarily intended for Western audiences, Silent Night will star Joel Kinnaman as a grieving father who embarks on a bloody quest for revenge into the bowels of the criminal underworld after his young son is killed.