Painted Skin is notable on a couple of fronts. It's said to be the "first movie collaboration between filmmakers in Singapore and China," according to Channel NewsAsia; Singapore actor Qi Yu Wu has already been lined up to co-star. And it's one of the first Mainland China productions to feature a supernatural theme: the story revolves around a love/hate relationship between a ghostly vixen and a group of humans. Variety notes that "ghosts feature prominently in Chinese literature, but rarely make it to the big screen. Censors have long frowned on the genre for fear it will upset the masses." 'Upsetting the masses' is another way of saying that "secret societies based on arcane beliefs have posed threats to China's power structure for centuries," in the view of author Stefan Hammond, who wrote a fascinating article on the subject a few years ago. In any event, though the female lead has yet to be cast, filming for Painted Skin is expected to begin later this year or early next, with both Wilson Yip and Andy Chin set to direct. With tons of digital effects planned, Yen's new Skin may not make it onto screens until late 2008.
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