Hong Kong Legends Strike Gold

The team at HKL recently signed a deal with Golden Princess that secures them the UK rights to 17 superb Hong Kong action films including some of the best collaborations between John Woo and Chow Yun Fat. To get the whole story and the complete list of titles I will let HKLs Press Release do the talking...

Hong Kong Legends' domination of the huge (and growing) UK market for martial arts cinema is virtually complete following the inking this week of a major deal with Golden Princess, arguably the last independently held prestigious catalogue of classic Hong Kong movies.

The result of more than a year of negotiations gives the much respected UK label access to another vast library. Seventeen carefully selected gems have initially been agreed on a long term licence, covering all rights including theatrical. Naturally, HKL intends to weave its 'magic' over every new title in preparation for each sumptuous DVD release: every film will be painstakingly restored frame-by-frame with soundtracks digitally remastered and Special Features sourced and/or created to make each release a genuine collectors' item.

The line-up is sensational. There are several universally acknowledged masterpieces from director John Woo including The Killer, his personal favourite Bullet In The Head, Once A Thief and A Better Tomorrow 2. In addition there's Ringo Lam's classic City On Fire, which Quentin Tarantino freely admits was the blueprint for Reservoir Dogs, and a string of great movies by Once Upon A Time In China director Tsui Hark including all three of the much demanded A Chinese Ghost Story series and A Better Tomorrow 3. A full list of titles is attached.

This major deal is another important element in HKL's plans. Since the label's launch 18 months ago it has gone from strength to strength, building an unparallelled brand reputation among DVD collectors. HKL has expanded into the Benelux countries and will continue this expansion with further announcements in the near future.

The Golden Princess deal brings the total HKL catalogue of potential releases to over 200 movies, representing virtually all the best Hong Kong productions ever made. Having just completed the deal, neither label manager Brian White nor parent company Medusa Communications' executive director Steve Rivers can confirm plans regarding DVD scheduling or possible theatrical releases for any of these new titles.

The titles are:

  • The Killer
  • Bullet in the Head
  • A Better Tomorrow 2
  • A Better Tomorrow 3
  • Once a Thief
  • Prison on Fire
  • Prison on Fire 2
  • A Chinese Ghost Story
  • A Chinese Ghost Story 2
  • A Chinese Ghost Story 3
  • The Swordsman
  • City Wars
  • Peking Opera Blues
  • Triads: The Inside Story
  • The Big Heat
  • Tiger on the Beat

And there ends the Press Release. Ever since the original exclusive announcement from the excellent Bullets N Babes website last Thursday speculation as to the content of these titles and indeed further titles based around what has been announced here has been rife. To quash certain speculation (and sadly, everyone’s hopes) there is no chance of HKL acquiring either Hard Boiled (Tartan owned) or A Better Tomorrow (MIA owned) for UK release any time soon (we are looking at years here). As for the extra feature content on various titles I would expect at least a few of these to become Platinum Editions (like the superb Game of Death release) but that is just my own opinion. Finally, while no release dates have been announced I am of the opinion that we will see a few of these titles slotted in to HKLs already large 2002 release slate.

Please feel free to use the comments section to add your own speculation!

Category News

Latest Articles