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Wong Kar-Wai’s Mysterious ‘Chungking Express’ Sequel Gets Approval to Begin Production

Wong Kar-wai appears to be adding a third narrative to his "Chungking Express" series that follows two lovers in the year 2036.

"Chungking Express"

“Chungking Express”

Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

Wong Kar-wai has written a sequel to his 1994 Hong Kong classic “Chungking Express,” but much of the project remains a mystery. A report from Variety states the sequel is titled “Chungking Express 2020” and that the script, written by Wong Kar-wai, was “submitted for government approval in Shanghai in April and approved on Wednesday, Sept. 23, meaning it can now move forward with plans for production.” The project is backed by the Shanghai Fanhuali Development Company, which is also working with Wong on his new project “Blossoms.”

The filing for “Chungking Express 2020” includes this cryptic plot synopsis: ““In ’90s Hong Kong, broken-hearted Policeman 223 encounters a blonde female assassin, and they spend a short time together overnight. Policeman 663, who also is getting over heartbreak, sees his life gradually changed by the intrusions of the ‘person of his dreams.’ In 2036, young Xiao Qian and May are unwilling to be held back by genetic partnering, and insist on finding their own ‘destiny.’”

A source close to Wong added this tease about the new project to Variety, “Wong was planning to film a coda to ‘Chungking Express.’ Now it seems to be a feature.”

The plot description above seems to include some of the narrative of Wong’s 1994 “Chungking Express.” That film was broken into two storylines. The first story followed Cop 223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro) as he nurses a broken heart and meets a blonde femme fatale (Brigitte Lin), while the second centers on another lovelorn police officer, Cop 663 (Tony Leung), as he falls in love with a woman who works at a fast food restaurant (Faye Wong).

The sequel would appear to pick up on a third story set in the future and following new characters Xiao Qian and May. Whether or not this story makes up a brand new feature remains to be seen. The synopsis provided for “Chungking Express 2020” makes it sound as if Wong is adding a third narrative to the already-existing two stories in order to create a brand new version of “Chungking.”

A spokesperson for Wong’s production company Jettone had “no further comment on this project at this stage,” which means “Chungking Express 2020” is remaining a mystery for now. Wong has been filming the television adaptation of “Blossoms” in China, and still has plans to direct a film version of the same story. There’s no word yet on when production on “Chungking Express 2020” will begin or even if Wong will direct the movie.

Wong’s original “Chungking Express” swept the 1995 Hong Kong Film Awards, winning prizes for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Leung), and Best Editing. News of a sequel arrives not only as Wong works on “Blossoms” but also as a 4K restoration of the director’s major works is planned for a nationwide rollout starting in December. A remastered edition of “In the Mood for Love” is premiering at the New York Film Festival.

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