• HBO Asia to preem new regional originals


    To celebrate HBO Asia’s 25th anniversary, its regional office has announced plans for six new productions that will be filmed and based in various countries across Asia, including China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

    As one of the first regional networks to produce original content in Asia since 2012, the cable network already has 10 titles in its filmography and is committed to expand its repertoire further for audiences in the region and globally.

    Jonathan Spink, CEO of HBO Asia, said, “HBO has always been known to produce high quality, premium original productions. By harnessing the full potential of talent and production infrastructure the region has to offer, we are well-positioned to create premium, authentic and relevant content for our audiences in the region, many of which have been recognised for various creative and performance awards.”

    HBO Asia executives (seated from left) Kazufumi Nagasawa, Shihori Kanjiya, Yuko Takeuchi, Jonathan Spink, Kuo Shu Yau, Jessica Kam, (standing from left) Fan Bei Bei, Mike Wiluan, Eric Khoo, Ho Yuhang, Joko Anwar, Lee Sang-Woo, Chen Ho-YuKazufumi Nagasawa, Shihori Kanjiya, Yuko Takeuchi, Jonathan Spink, Kuo Shu Yau, Jessica Kam

    “With its richness in culture and histories, Asia is a great source of stories which make for appealing content locally as well as globally,” he added.

    Series premiering soon on HBO Asia’s network of channels include:

    “Folklore,” a six-episode hour-long horror anthology series that takes place across multiple Asian countries including Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Each episode will be based on each country’s deeply-rooted superstitions and myths but at the same time will seek to modernise or update Asian horror.

    Folklore’s creator and showrunner is award-winning Singaporean film maker, Eric Khoo.

    Other directors involved in the series are Joko Anwar (Indonesia), Ho Yuhang (Malaysia), Lee Sang-Woo (Korea), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand) and Takumi Saitoh (Japan).

    “Grisse” is an eight-part hour-long period drama series set in the mid 1800’s within the colonial period of the Dutch East Indies. Helmed by Mike Wiluan, the series chronicles the story of a group of unlikely individuals who lead a rebellion against a brutal governor and suddenly find themselves in control of a Dutch garrison town called Grisse.

    “Master of the White Crane Fist: Wong Yan Lam” and “Master of the Nine Dragon Fist: Wong Ching-Ho” are the third and fourth instalment of the Chinese language martial arts anthology movie series.

    Directed by Guo Jian-yong, the former is set in ancient China during the late Qing dynasty. It tells the story of four constables escorting a criminal and crossing paths with a theatre troupe and a mysterious priest, setting off a series of events that will lead to the murder of a constable.

    The latter, meanwhile, is directed by Si Xiao-dong. It is set in China in the early 19th century and follows the battle betweenBritish businessman, Mr. James, who sells the addictive opium to locals and Wong Ching-Ho, the head of Guangzhou’s martial arts alliance, who decides to destroy Mr. James’ opium warehouses.

    Also in lineup is “Miss Sherlock, HBO Asia’s very first Japanese language eight-part, hour-long drama series, produced in collaboration with Hulu in Japan. The series, premiering across 20 countries in April 2018, pays homage to the classic by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, with bold interpretations of the iconic characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.

    The series is set in modern day Tokyo and both lead characters are Japanese women – Wato Tachibana (played by ShihoriKanjiya), a surgeon who recently returned from a volunteer doctors’ mission in Syria and Sara Shelly Futaba (played by Yuko Takeuchi), an investigation consultant to the police department who solves bizarre and difficult cases.

    Throughout the series, the pair solves mystery after mystery with Miss Sherlock’s extraordinary observation and reasoning skills.

    Finally, the award-winning “The Teenage Psychic” (Best Mini-Series and Best Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series at Taiwan’s 52nd Annual Golden Bell Awards 2017) is slated to return with a second season. Kuo Shu Yau will reprise her lead role as XieYa Zhen, a psychic born with the ability to see spirits and learning to use her abilities to help others. The second season of the series will once again be directed by rising Taiwanese writer-director Chen Ho-Yu.

    All upcoming HBO Asia Originals will be available exclusively on HBO Asia’s network of channels including HBO’s online streaming platform, HBO GO and the on-demand service, HBO On Demand.


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