Wisit Sasanatieng's eagerly awaited next feature is Insee Daeng, or Red Eagle. Starring Ananda Everingham in the title role, this will be a reboot of a 1950s and '60s Thai film series about a masked vigilante crimefighter, who was portrayed by the great action star Mitr Chaibancha.
An aficionado of the old-time Thai action cinema, Wisit has been wanting to do Red Eagle for a long time, and now that he's finally been given the chance, he can't seem to stop.
His script grew so big that he needs two movies to tell the story. Here's what he says in an e-mail:
First, I tried to make only one, but it was too long. So I broke it into two parts.
Initially, Wisit sought to make both parts of the film in one shoot, similar to Lord of the Rings or the Matrix sequels. But his studio Five Star Production is being cautious. So he'll just shoot the first part and "wait for the feedback from the audience when it's released."
If it's okay, then they will make the second part. But if not, my Red Eagle should be the first and the last episode.
Now in pre-production and casting, Red Eagle is due to be completed toward the end of this year.
I really hope the film is a hit, and he gets to make that second part. I think people are going to be blown away by whatever Wisit comes up with.
And, I think the appetite for nostalgia is there. The Triple X company has released one of the older Insee Daeng films with Mitr and Petchara Chaowarat, as well as many other classic Mitr-Petchara films, including the phenomenal 1970 hit musical Mon Rak Lukthung. Some of their DVDs have subtitles, some don't, but they are worth getting. If the company didn't think there was a market for the old films, they wouldn't release them, would they? Maybe the prevailing cultural attitudes about old films and music is starting to be more accepting?
(Via Twitch; photo: A scene from Jao Insee, recently released on DVD by Triple X)