Sharpen your axes: Stephen Chow says ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ follow-up in the works

Stephen Chow in the 2004 film Kung Fu Hustle. Screengrab via YouTube.

Time to brush off your Buddha’s Palm and limber up your Lion’s Roar. Hong Kong legend Stephen Chow has confirmed that he will be filming a sequel to his 2004 hit Kung Fu Hustle.

OK, not a sequel, per se — more of a spiritual successor, according to the beloved director — but given it’s Stephen Chow and kung fu-related, it’s still reason enough to get excited.

Chow made the comments during an audience Q&A in Guangzhou yesterday while promoting his latest film The New King Of Comedy, a dramedy about an aspiring actress in China who only manages to score bit parts, and whose dedication to her craft often puts her in conflict with directors and production assistants. Chow was the director, producer and screenwriter for the film, which is itself a sequel to — and shares a premise with — the 1996 Hong Kong film The King of Comedy, in which he also starred.

HK01 reports that when asked by an audience member yesterday if there would be a be a sequel to Kung Fu Hustle, Chow replied: “Yes! Actually, it won’t be so much a Kung Fu Hustle 2; it would be a modern-day kung fu story set in a foreign country and have its own standalone story, but it will have a similar direction and concept as Kung Fu Hustle.”

Good enough for us!

Rumors of a Kung Fu Hustle sequel have been swirling since as far back as 2005, with Chow even saying at the time that he would start filming either later that year or in early 2006. But the sequel never materialized, and at one point it was reported that Chow had put the project “on hold” until October 2017, when a representative for Chow told media outlets that news of a sequel was false.

Chow stopped taking on acting roles 11 years ago, but continues to produce, direct, and write. He has never revealed why he quit acting, and told the audience at the same Q&A yesterday that he isn’t really comfortable with talking about why he has stopped.

Acknowledging that he still gets offers to act but turns them down, he added: “There are a lot of things that I don’t love to do. I just want to talk about one thing – I only do things I love; I don’t do it for the money.”

When asked if he would make a cameo appearance in the Kung Fu Hustle follow-up, he laughed and said he might consider playing someone who gets beaten up, saying, “I can’t fight that well anymore.”

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past 14 years, Kung Fu Hustle is a martial arts gangster comedy set in 1930s Shanghai, and centers on Chow’s character, Sing, a wannabe gangster who trying to insinuate himself into the dreaded Axe Gang, an army of suited axe-wielding thugs. (Spoiler alert: deep down, he’s actually a good guy! Bet you didn’t see that coming.)

The film starred retired veterans of classic 1970s-era Hong Kong action films in a host of memorable supporting characters, such as the Landlady, the nightie-and-hair-curler-wearing auntie whose outfit inspired countless Halloween tributes; and the Beast, a pudgy, frog-like kung fu master who serves as the film’s big baddie.

Famed film critic Roger Ebert once described the film’s energy as being “like Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton meet Quentin Tarantino and Bugs Bunny.”

Yeah, pretty much:


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