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Chang Chen's new sci-fi film explores memory transplants

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2021-01-08 14:39
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A still image of The Soul. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Rising to top the world's movie market in terms of yearly box-office takings, China has a huge annual output of feature-length films but only a few are sci-fi tales.

With a stellar cast led by actors Chang Chen and Janine Chang, the upcoming sci-fi thriller The Soul, set to open across domestic theaters on Jan 15, may make up for this disappointment.

Actor Chang Chen stars a prosecutor in The Soul. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Adapted from sci-fi writer Jiang Bo's award-winning novel Yi Hun You Shu (A Means To Transfer Souls), the story starts with a mysterious murder of a tech company tycoon. As the investigation gets underway, a shocking scheme is unraveled, exposing the complexity of humanity.

Memory transplants, one of the most popular themes in sci-fi circles in recent years, are prominently featured in the film.

Actors Janine Chang, Sun An'ke and Zhang Bojia attended the Beijing premiere on Jan 8, with director Cheng Wei-hao and actor Chang Chen appearing on the cinema's big screen via remote link.

Actresses (from right) Janine Chang, Sun An'ke and Zhang Bojia attended the Beijing premiere of the upcoming sci-fi film The Soul on Jan 8. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In an attempt to authentically portray his role as a cancer-stricken prosecutor, Chang managed to lose up to 12 kilograms and shaved his head. His pale, gaunt look seen in trailers and still images has sparked much interest among audiences, propelling the film to become one of the most anticipated works this month.

Director Cheng says his father's death from cancer gave him a personal connection the film, helping him to reflect on the bonds between the deceased and the living in a more profound way.

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