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New film shows a lair of intrigue

Wolf Hiding portrays quest for revenge and criminal infighting, Xu Fan reports.

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-02 08:15
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Wolf Hiding, one of December's most popular films, features Hong Kong star Nick Cheung Ka-fai as a mysterious killer. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Wolf Hiding portrays quest for revenge and criminal infighting, Xu Fan reports.

Despite the cold wave sweeping across major parts of China, Nick Cheung Ka-fai and his fellow cast stars, like Ethan Juan, have found a fervent passion for cinema during a tightly scheduled tour to promote their latest endeavor, Wolf Hiding.

Since its theatrical release on Dec 16, the movie has grossed more than 210 million yuan ($29.4 million), to become one of the most popular action blockbusters in the last month of the year.

Set in an unnamed foreign country, the film opens on the eve of a leadership change within a powerful criminal group. This results in a major city being plunged into darkness and a spate of crimes, ranging from illegal human organ harvesting to forced prostitution and human trafficking. However, a mysterious killer emerges and kidnaps the chosen successor. Various criminal factions and even law enforcement agencies become entangled in the ensuing chaos.

Cheung, a two-time winner of the Best Actor gong at the Hong Kong Film Awards, recalls that he received the script a few years ago from director Ma Yuke, with whom he struck up a friendship on the 2013 movie The White Storm.

The movie also marks the directorial debut feature of Ma, a native of Lanzhou, Gansu province. After shooting to fame for portraying You Tanzhi, a martial artist who falls for a woman who doesn't love him back in the popular 2003 TV series Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, Ma has played in more than 50 TV dramas and movies, and started conceiving the plot of Wolf Hiding over a decade ago.

In addition to trusting Ma, due to his decades of experience in the film and TV industry, Cheung was also deeply drawn to the script's portrayal of his character — a man seeking vengeance for his beloved younger sister.

In the movie, flashback scenes show that Chen An, Cheung's character, and his younger sister grew up in an orphanage. Although they lived in poverty and resided in a small wooden house in the suburbs, their lives were simple and happy. However, tragedy struck when his sister was kidnapped on the street by members of a criminal gang and met a tragic end. Overwhelmed with immense grief, Chen began planning his revenge.

Filming took place in Shenzhen and Shanwei in Guangdong province in 2021. Cheung remembers that the crew constructed the wooden house on a piece of open land, situated about two to three hours away from downtown Shenzhen. The surrounding area was planted with beautiful, blooming sunflowers, creating a serene and vibrant atmosphere that allowed Cheung to easily connect with the correct emotions for the scenes.

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