I have a lot of respect for Taiwanese director Tsai Yueh-Hsun (蔡岳勳). His previous works include Meteor Garden, MARS, The Hospital and Black & White. Although I’ve only seen the last two they were both extremely well made and definitely recommended. With the success of the Black & White movie prequel (The Dawn of Assault) last year, he’s back again with Black & White 2: The Next Episode which started filming in early September.
Of course the question on everyone’s mind is – Is Vic Chou coming back? Sadly, the answer is NO. I’m sorry how can we make ANOTHER “Pi Zi Ying Xiong” movie without Pi Zi? I don’t know. I am annoyed. That’s probably the reason why I still haven’t seen the first Black & White movie.
FYI – in the original Black & White drama the Chinese name is Pi Zi Ying Xiong (痞子英雄), with Vic Chou as “Pi Zi” (aka ruffian, the unreliable one) and Mark Cho played Wu Ying Xiong (aka Hero, the principled, by the book one).
I’ve been trying to find news of this movie since it started filming but not a lot has been revealed so far? A few things I can find are:
Yes Mark Chao will return as Wu Ying Xiong obviously. Huang Bo, the lead from the last movie will only cameo in Black & White 2. His character Xu Da Fu will bring trouble for Ying Xiong at the beginning of the movie. Instead Lin Geng Xin who is now Mark Chao’s new BFF (since working together on the Young Detective Dee movie) will take the lead/second lead as Chen Zhen. He will play a criminologist who relies on scientific facts and evidence to solve crimes. A young Sherlock Holmes type character – very smart but doesn’t work well with others. The director describes him as “an idiotic genius”.
For the supporting characters, Angelababy (from the movie) and Ivy Chen (from the TV drama) will not return but Janine Chang will! Another alumni making an appearance is Xiu Jie Kai! This is about the most exciting part of this movie because I really loved their characters in the original drama. Considering there were some unanswered questions about Lan Xi Ying (Janine’s character)’s past at the end of B&W I think it’s about time we resolve it. Similarly, Xiu Jie Kai’s Xiao Ma / Huang Shi Kai was one of the most interesting characters in the drama, so his return is very welcomed. Other returning actors will include Terri Kwan from the last movie and Jason Tsou who played the assassin Cheng Nuo in both the TV and movie versions. But the most surprisingly piece of news was that Mandy Lieu is also in this movie?
(There is also a rumour Jerry Yan might have a supporting role, since he has previously worked with Director Tsai in The Hospital. But I’m not sure how much truth there is to that.)
So the question is yes it’s a Black & White 2 but where does this sequel sit in the series? Is it between the first movie and the drama? Or will this be an actual sequel to the drama? If anyone knows, TELL ME! When they originally announced the first movie will be without Vic people were hoping that the next one in the series (aka a sequel to the TV drama) will *have* to include him right? So disappointing. Maybe Vic has closed the “Black & White” chapter of his life whether it’s sequels, prequels, spin offs or whatever. As much as I respect Director Tsai, I think it’s time to let Black & White go. I might watch B&W 2 for Janine and Xiu Jie Kai but it would be good to see the Director make another ground breaking show on another topic.
Black & White 2: The Next Episode is filming in various locations in Taiwan right now, including Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan and Taipei. Its expected release date is Summer 2014. Its Facebook page has photos and updates on the production progress.