By the early 2000s, martial arts cinema was in an uncertain place. The genre-defining days of old had long past, and the zany, pop-aligned antics of the ’80s and ’90s — which produced some of the genre’s first enduring, global stars — were not quite as new and captivating in the new millennium. Audiences waited to see what would come next.
Enter Kung Fu Hustle, the off-the-wall cult classic that both subverted and embraced every kung fu trope. Director and lead actor Stephen Chow’s low budget film was unlike anything we’d seen at the time. It was funny, it was exciting, and it was self-aware. Now, a decade and a half later, Kung Fu Hustle 2 is finally coming.
Stephen Chow — director/star of comedy-kung fu favorites like Shaolin Soccer, as well as blockbuster hits like The Mermaid — first teased a Kung Fu Hustle sequel in 2005, just one year after the release of the original. It ended up getting sidelined by a barrage of new projects, which is to be expected in the year after one’s breakout filmmaking performance. But now, Chow has officially announced that he’ll begin work on Kung Fu Hustle 2 after he finishes his next project, a sequel to 2016’s The Mermaid.
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Chow explains that Kung Fu Hustle 2 will be a “spiritual sequel”. The first film took place in 1940s Guangdong, with Chow as the lead character, a wannabe street thug who gets in over his head. The sequel, however, will take place in the present day, and will likely feature a female lead.
Our fingers are crossed that the sequel retains its irreverent charm, and also that Chow doesn’t end up pushing it back another fifteen years.
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