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Life imitates art as director, producer of Warlords reportedly go head to head
with Andrew Sun. Additional reporting by Clara Mak.
Betrayal and power struggles aren't just plotlines in Peter Chan Ho-sun's movie The Warlords. It appears they're happening in real life to the filmmaker too. The HK$300 million epic with Jet Li, Andy Lau Tak-wah and Takeshi Kaneshiro was a blockbuster in Hong Kong and on the mainland, in addition to winning eight trophies at this spring's Hong Kong Film Awards, but it's not conquering any territories across the ocean.
The film appears to be headed straight to DVD in North America without a chance for box-office glory. On Amazon.com, the disc format's release date is listed as August 12, and adding insult to injury, an article in Guangzhou Daily suggests that producer Andre Morgan and director Chan are now embroiled in a spat worthy of the warlord characters played by Lau and Li.
It suggested that Morgan was behind the decision to drop the film's foreign-language Oscar application in the hope of attaining bigger and more coveted awards after a North American release. Chan reportedly opposed the move and was against a shortened and possibly dubbed version for the English-language market. Amazon lists the DVD version at only 86 minutes.
Chan was unavailable for comment, but his film company, Applause Pictures, explained the news was not true and that it had no idea where the information on the DVD release had come from. Instead, a rep suggested: 'There will be plans to release the film in the US, but we are not at that stage yet.'