The Shaw Bros. Will Make a Glorious Comeback to Film
Back in January of 2014, Run Run Shaw, one of the founders of the Shaw Brothers film studio, died at the age of 106.The Shaw Bros. was, at one point in its history, the largest production studio in all of Asia, and is responsible for hundreds of wonderful martial arts and Asian exploitation movies including hits like The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, 5 Fingers of Death, and Legendary Weapons of China. The Shaw Bros. also helped produce the sci-fi classic Blade Runner in the U.S. The studio was gathered in the ’20s, began earnest studio activity in 1958, stopped production in the 1980s, and officially went defunct in 2011.
But, according to Variety, the studio may live on yet. TVB, a Hong Kong TV studio that currently holds the broadcasting rights to the vast Shaw Bros. film library, will begin putting seven new films into production, under the Shaw Bros. label. TVB hopes to not only grow the glorious tradition of the old brand, but to save its own flagging sales by continuing what the Shaw Bros. began nearly a century ago. This means, if the resurrection is successful, and if the tradition is indeed being accurately carried on, that we in the rest of the world, will eventually have access to piles of brand new, big-budget, wonderfully choreographed, starmaking martial arts films. This is a wonderfully exciting thing for martial arts fans.
Two new titles in The Shaw Bros. canon: From Vegas to Macau III, and Line Walker.
Check Out: The Filmmakers We Lost in 2014
The resurrection of an entire studio is rare, but not unprecedented. Hammer Studios, for instance, the premiere horror production house in England, was in strong production throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, but eventually went bankrupt in 1979. In the intervening decades, Hammer Horror continued to foster new generations of cult followers, and the Hammer brand never diminished. In 2007, Hammer was resurrected. They have since had several hits including Let Me In, The Quiet Ones, and The Woman in Black.