Chinese superstars Charlene and Chun to make an Idol drama

Chinese superstars Charlene and Chun to make an Idol drama

On the latest issue of Ming Pao Weekly No. 2071. Butterfly Lovers staring Charlene and Chun are soon to be release on September 11th, and Charlene's next project is with Show Lou, <>. Having very good chemsitry and well liked by the media, Chun and Charlene have had rumors since their first meeting. Seeing how good they are together, Charlene mentioned in the article, Chun's manager tries to play the match maker by putting them in another collaboration, a idol serie/drama. Charlene said that she is 25, not that young anymore if she is to make idol drama it is about time. She said she is afraid if she wait any longer she is too old.

When talking about the plot of the possible idol serie, Charlene said she doesn't want the idol drama to be regular dramas focusing alot on mushy love, pet love, etc. Charlene said since Chun and herself love to eat, she wants it to have a cooking theme. If possible have lots of food from all over the place, and being able to taste them all while filming. Also saying, Chun will probably be the happiest one.

She jokingly mentioned a storyline like this to Chun's manager: Herself is a cook representating Hong Kong and Chun is a cook representing Taiwan [note: not necessary a cook, but someone good with food]. They both start out hating eachother, not on good terms. However, they both run into a competitor and so Chun and Charlene teams up to win the competitor, then the story goes on from there. However, no date of been set, they would have to see if eachother's schedule fit.

The Makings of a Chinese Global Blockbuster

Romance of the Three Kingdoms now in Hollywood adaptation Red CLiff

At the age of 10, John Woo liked staying up late at night drawing with a brush pen the characters from the literary classic "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" on a piece of glass.

Covering himself with a blanket to make the space dark like a cinema, he then used a flashlight to project the characters onto the wall and he would make the shadows move like a puppet play.

Now, half a century later, the Hollywood-based Hong Kong director has made his childhood dream come true by putting the novel onto the silver screen in "Red Cliff." He hopes it will be a global blockbuster - it's lavish, magnificent and tells a well-known story. And Woo knows Western audiences' tastes.
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The two-episode historical drama and war epic is the most anticipated domestic film this year.

Part I opens across Asia starting July 10. Part II is to be released in December.

With a budget of more than US$70 million, the movie is the costliest Chinese film ever made. Its A-list cast includes Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Hu Jun.

"It is my longtime dream to make a film based on the stories of the famous Three Kingdoms Period," Woo says.
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The movie centers on the epic Battle of Red Cliff (Chi Bi Zhi Zhan) in today's Hubei Province in which 2,000 ships burned in a river battle. The tale is replete with ancient Chinese politics, philosophy and war strategies.

The biggest scenes involved 2,000 actors and crew. Around 1,300 special effects are used.

The 62-year-old Woo, who looks like your affable neighbor, is a genius of cinema. He first became known for his Hong Kong action classics, featuring slow motion action, artistic gunplay and themes of brotherhood in films such as "A Better Tomorrow," and "The Killer."

Woo's Hollywood sojourn began in 1993, when he took his directorial style to box-office hits like "Face/Off," "Mission: Impossible II" and "Paycheck."

"I have been making movies in Hollywood for about 16 years," Woo says. "I know Western audiences' taste, and I know the formula and expertise for a commercial blockbuster. I want to prove that in China, we also have the ability, talent and endurance to make a Hollywood-style blockbuster."
Woo's other mission is to improve Western cinemagoers' understanding of Chinese culture - it's more than just kung fu.

"I truly wanted to capture the courage and wisdom of the Chinese people and their culture," Woo says. "The characters in the movie are true to life. I try to make them believable and really touching."

"Red Cliff" tells of the delicate relationship between Zhou Yu (played by Leung) and Zhuge Liang (played by Kaneshiro), two legendary and rival war strategists. They form an unlikely alliance in 208 AD to resist an attack by the Han emperor.

"The two talents admire, respect but take precautions against each other," says Cannes winner Leung. "Once again, director Woo vividly depicts brotherhood from various angles. It's his signature."
Supermodel Lin Chi-ling stars opposite Leung, playing the famous beauty Xiao Qiao, Zhou's wife. To prepare for the part, she took lessons in the tea art and Chinese calligraphy.

Actor Hu Jun, who plays the brave general Zhao Yun, says that 95 percent of his performance is in fight scenes. "Woo has good control of the ambience, rhythm and visual elements of storytelling on film," Hu says. "I have learned a lot from him."

Outside of Asia, "Red Cliff" will be released in a single, condensed film in December. Woo expects big global box office.

The director's next project is another Chinese film, "1949," this time a romance -- unusual for him -- set against World War II and the Chinese civil war.

Shooting is expected to begin in Shanghai early next year.

"You'll have many chances to find me working here," he says.

Latest News of the Taiwanese Hunk Jerry Yan of F4

Latest News of the Taiwanese Hunk Jerry Yan of F4

Guan Ying kiss Yan Cheng Xu with "exterior" feeling only

Guan Ying kisses with Yan Cheng Xu, definitely makes many fans to envy

Yesterday Yan Cheng Xu and Guan Ying had a media meeting for Stardust press conference in Shanghai. Yan Cheng Xu played the role of reporter to cover Guan Ying's feeling of circumstances that finally made them traded “the angry glare look at each other”, Director Lin Helong smiled and gave a happy laughter looking at the two people that acting like an “enemy”.

Yan Cheng Xu commented that Guan Ying is a very lively and lovable girl. Both of them had a lot of kissing scene in stardust but Guan Ying said it’s nothing to it regard to the unease feeling with her boyfriend Huang Zhiwei. Moreover she is the same as any common girl, will be jealous by many but because of the work, it doesn’t matter.

Guan Ying (left) and Yan Cheng Xu kiss in Stardust, she said that the kiss is on the surface only.

Although the cooperation with Yan Cheng Xu and Guan Ying in the drama has a many outgoing romance and with continuous kiss, Guan Ying since the beginning already said and described the kiss as "the most casually kiss."

Regards to her tattoo ankle with the boyfriend name Huang Zhiwei english name “Jerry”, which coincidently Yan Cheng Xu English name is also “Jerry”, Guan Ying with a smile said she’s feared that the media will make much ado about nothing. She speaks frankly that this Jerry(the tattoo name at her ankle) is not Jerry (Yan Cheng Xu), hope Yan Cheng Xu fans do not misunderstood, or I will be killed”

Jerry Yan's Stardust Press Conference in Shanghai, CCTV Broadcast in Primetime

Stardust has already sold copyright sales of over 60 million (6 million) even when filming is in progress, already covering production costs & making profits. Shanghai filming is supposed to complete by June. CCTV will broadcast Stardust on CCTV during year end at prime time of 8pm. CCTV spokesperson said its not easy to produce a drama that satisfies the taste of China viewers & overseas viewers. Confirmed by CCTV spokesperson during the interview that Japan investor wants Jerry to attract the Japanese audience. That Jerry's appeal has not lessened over the years judging from fans turnout. There were fans that flew in from Japan & Korea. That hundreds of media turned up for the presscon, all attention focused on Yan Cheng Xu.

Stardust coryright sales already reached 60 million. Jerry's talent fees has gone up 60 time since MG.

MG/ talent fees TW$10,000 per episode , TH talent fees TW$300,000 per episode , HS talent fees TW$450,000 per episode & Stardust talent fees TW$600,000 per episode.

Accdg to newsarticles, CCTV spokerperson said CCTV wanted to produce a drama the likes of Winter Sonata or Stairways to Heaven, a drama that will deeply touched the viewers heart all over Asia for this drama, the production budget is double that of its normal modern dramas. they then linked up with a Tw production house & the Japanese . the Taiwanese & Japanese sides specifically pinpointed Jerry for the main lead role.

According to the Terri & Alice, Jerry is not difficult as what's written by the media. they find him easy to get along. Both said when doing hugging scenes with Jerry, they find that Jerry is really thin. Jerry said when he don't smile, probably he looked fearsome, as the staffs will be scared. he said Terri also has the same kind of look as him when not smiling, so with Terri, he's seeing his mirror image. Both are very serious when working, in private they get along very well, like brothers. for Alice, Jerry said she's very cute, she lightens up the the filming atmosphere with her presence. Alice said Jerry is like an older brother, always encouraging her.

Jerry Yan Attends Shanghai TV Film Festival for Stardust

June 10, 10:45, at the Shanghai International TV, Sohu had a video interview with Stardust team at their Studio entertainment. At the scene, the appearance of director Lin Lung, Yan Cheng Xu and Guan Ying had attracted a large number of spectators and nearby stand onlookers. In particular, Yan Cheng Xu is subject to the ultra-FANS most sought after. They waiting for him in the Studio of Sohu, photographing him like mad.

During the 6/10 interview, Dir Lin said at 1st he tot Terri will be the nauseating princess kind of behavior (fatty2: its well known that Terri is from a wealthy family). he was very surprised & pleased when he finds her totally unprincess in behaviour, she's instead rather tomboyish. Jerry then said Terri is lively & adorable, very different from the image of her when she was in Taiwan attending various kinds of prestige functions.

Terri said Jerry is so different from what the media portrayed, she finds him easy-going. also, she finds him very hardworking & very focused during work. even when not his scenes, he will be present observing.

During the interview, when the lady host asked Dir Lin abt Jerry's huge talent fees of NT$600,000.00 (which is on par with top China actor such as Chen Dao Ming), Dir Lin said Jerry is worth every penny of it. that Jerry is a very hardworking & constantly learning & improving actor.

Jerry said for Stardust, he has learnt to relax & not put too much pressure on himself.

In the interview, Dir Lin mentioned that the filming has started for 1 month and there are 2 more months to go. Then 2 months after finished filming, it will be broadcasted. He also mentioned that he knows the off-camera Jerry very well, that Jerry is the no. 1 candidate for playing Cheng Yue in Stardust.

credits: fatty@asf

Taiwanese Hunk Vic Zhou Zai Zai does not want celebrate his birthday,

ZZ does not want celebrate his birthday

credit thank : Orange_Vic@pantipmember for sharing pic ; Nikod & Sytwo@AF for translation

ZZ will pass a 27th birthday on June 9 . Long time ago in official on-line announcement: “do not give the gift to me, or please donate money for Sichuan the disaster victims.” His fellow are really obedient, and they success mustering fund 200,000 Hong Kong dollars (to be approximately equal to dollar 780,000 Yuan), but ZZ contribute 100 ten thousand dollars to join together to accomplish a great task.
ZZ this time goes to Japan, promoting "TEA FIGHT " film .

Recently in Japan, ZZ organized a grand Fan Meeting. As his birthday is approaching, according to past experience, ZZ will receive a large number of gifts. So he asked fans to just write letters or send local products and automotive magazines, and other non-precious items.

The movie "Tea Fight" will be released in Japan on July 12. In this trip to Japan, ZZ attended the media preview, and on the 6th of June he will fly to Beijing to help raise funds for disaster relief as the UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) ambassador. After that he will immediately return to Taipei film TV drama "Ruffian Hero".

In the latest interview of Beauty Mag., Zai Zai talked about his principles when choosing his other half. He said that not only her skin has to be good, but also she needs to be healthy and not too skinny. She also needs to understand how to highlight her own charm. Such a woman is the one he desires to marry. He further mentioned that he appreciates her quietness, often to ponder and earned her work. These are attractive feminine qualities to him. Finally, he has not avoided talking about his ex-girlfriend Da S " She is really a majesty of cosmetology. Her skin is the best of all actress!"
credits to nkd @

Aaaaaaahhh... another reason to love ZaiZai!! I think that is the best thing fans can do, put all the money they'd normally spend on an extravagant but ultimately non-lasting gift into a donation towards a charity, under the name of the celebrity if so need be.

I hope Vic finds his true love one day soon =) (whether it's rekindling an old flame or not XP)

Talking about preference in choosing his 'other half', ZaiZai has only Barbie
in his mind. He is simply describing Barbie's quality skin and her serenity which is typical
of Barbie in reality.

He's such a gentleman to complement and praise Da S so much even though they are not a couple anymore... sigh! Such a perfect guy, wonder how many girls are wishing to be his other half?

Chinese Hunk Jay Chou gives another 1 million he hopes he can support the disaster area more

After donating 500,000 yuan before, yesterday Jay Chou gave another 1 million at the Chongqing Olympics Centre to the disaster area of Sichuan.

According to Hong Kong's Ming Pao, after the earthquake in Sichuan, Jay Chou already immediately donated 500,000 yuan. Yesterday, he held the "Jay Chou charity relief fundraising concert" at the Olympics Centre in Chongqing, he donated 1 million yuan in his own name. Due to the fact he was still feeling low, yesterday night when he arrived in Chongqing he had a heavy mood, he didn't have much of a smile. The usual celebration party after the concert was cancelled, they hope to raise as much money as possible to help more people at the disaster area and to help rebuild after the disaster.

Source: China News
Translated by'm so very touched by his this true?'m totally speechless...Initial E. thanks for breaking this news to us....i mean....he has done more than he should....i mean...he has already donated 500,000 yuan, he has even gone to the extent of doing a Charity Concert which he did, and now to top up his donations....what more can we say?

jay is so supportive and generous, i can't believe he donate 1.5 million to the area already and he still wants to donate more, such an amazing person. i hope that this will inspire others to donate.

that is nice of jay....i remember when jay first donated the 500,000 yuan he was bashed for donating so little, i hope this will make the critics close their mouth and not bash him agian or any other stars or person who has donated no matter if the amout is alot of little.....i think everyone should be greatful and stick together through this horrible time.....

Edison Chen - How a Chinese Canadian born Pop Star shame Billions of People in Asia with his sexcapades caught in cam

How a 27-year-old rapper from Richmond, B.C., sparked the biggest celebrity sex scandal in China's history

For a man who scandalized a billion people, Edison Chen is a surprisingly sympathetic character. On Feb. 21, the 27-year-old, Vancouver-born pop star — and the protagonist of the biggest celebrity sex scandal China has ever seen — sat at a small table facing 400 reporters and photographers gathered at the Hong Kong International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kowloon. His head hung low, his eyes were downcast, his shoulders slumped. Even his hair — usually worn spiked, and now slicked to his forehead — appeared to be atoning. He sighed deeply into the microphone. "Today, I have come back to Hong Kong to stand before you and account for myself," he said, in his native English. Camera flashes conjured a lightning storm.

In the preceding weeks, hundreds of sexually explicit photographs of Chen and many of Hong Kong's most beloved female teen idols had been leaked onto the Internet. Millions had viewed Chen engaged in some of the most intimate and acrobatic positions imaginable with more than half a dozen different partners. For almost a month, there had been non-stop press coverage as images leaked out in a seemingly endless stream, despite the best efforts of police to contain them.

"I admit that most of the photos being circulated were taken by me," Chen said, adding that they were stolen from him, and never intended for public consumption. "This matter has deteriorated to the point where society as a whole has been affected by this and in this regard, I am deeply saddened." He appealed for forgiveness from "the ladies" and their families, from his parents, from the police and, most importantly, from the people of Hong Kong. "I know young people in Hong Kong look up to many figures in our society and in this regard, I have failed. I have failed as a role model." He announced his resignation from the industry to search his soul. "I will be away from Hong Kong entertainment indefinitely," he said. "There is no time frame."

Outside, the paparazzi, which had been pursuing Chen with a Watergate-esque zeal, were in a frenzy. News reports claimed the actor was receiving round-the-clock police protection. His life was being threatened by Triad gangsters, they said, who allegedly control the Hong Kong entertainment industry and who did not appreciate the ruin of some of their most lucrative stars. (It also happens that Chen's current girlfriend, and one of the women in the pictures, is the niece of mob-connected music mogul Albert Yeung, chairman of Chen's former record label, Emperor Entertainment Group.) Posters affixed to downtown locales reportedly offered a reward of HK$500,000 (US$91,000) to whoever could produce his dismembered hand. More than 200 police officers were mobilized for the press conference, and at least 80 formed a human chain around Chen's parked car to ensure his safety coming in and out of the building. One angry legislator told reporters, "They don't go to such great lengths to protect even the chief executive." Weeks after the apology, across mainland China, thousands of anti-fans held protests, with banners that read "Reject Edison Chen, give back modern civilization."

It may at first seem difficult to understand all of this fuss over a bunch of dirty pictures, especially in North America, where between Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson, having Internet access is tantamount to joining the Hollywood sex-tape-of-the-week club. The Edison Chen incident was covered in the North American press, but primarily as salacious scandal. In the West, we're more cynical about our celebrities — we've come to expect and enjoy their frailties as part of the entertainment experience. But moral standards in China are decidedly different. In 2006, for example, when a tabloid published a photo of Gillian Chung, of the squeaky clean female pop-duo Twins — and one of Edison Chen's co-stars in the photo scandal — adjusting her bra backstage during a concert, it sparked a national controversy about indecency in media coverage. By comparison, the Edison Chen scandal was like finding online pictures of Justin Timberlake in flagrante with Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff and either one of the Olson twins — except in a country where, as recently as 20 years ago, there was no sexual education at all.

The fallout of the Edison Chen scandal extends far beyond its star. In addition to the devastating personal and professional ramifications for the women involved, the incident left the public with all sorts of questions. How do you regulate public decency in a society that is changing as quickly as China's? Are the Internet and tabloid media hijacking the culture? In the press and in online fan forums it also launched a wave of conspiracy theories: did authorities put Chen up to his apology and resignation in order to minimize negative publicity in the months leading up to the Beijing Olympics? Are they using the scandal as an opportunity to crack down on Internet freedoms? Is it possible that Chen leaked the photos himself to jump-start his career in Hollywood? After all, observers pointed out, his first big North American break is on the horizon — a role in the highly anticipated upcoming Batman film, The Dark Knight.

Since that day in February, Edison Chen has fallen off the face of the earth — perhaps a wise move given the Triad rumours. Some reports place him in Boston, where his girlfriend, Vincy Yeung, is attending college. Other reports put him in a rehab centre in Utah getting treatment for sex addiction — but say he left after he was beaten up by several other male patients for unknown reasons. Still others swear he is in Hollywood being wine and dined by producers who want to parlay his notoriety into the next big thing.

As it turns out, Edison Chen has been spending time with his family in British Columbia. His cousin Oscar Lo, an animator, confirmed that his family in Vancouver is rallying around him. "We actually had dinner with him last night," he recently told Maclean's. "He's fine. He's in good spirits. Just laying low." The family, he says, is very supportive. "I think over there people react differently than they would've here. Here, I don't think it would've been such a huge deal." Lo, who grew up with Chen, says he wasn't particularly concerned for his cousin's well-being, despite all the media speculation. "He's a smart guy," he said. But he still worried about how Chen was doing personally.

In Canada, Chen is relatively unknown, unless your taste in movies runs to the teen horror genre. In 2006, he starred in The Grudge 2 with Sarah Michelle Gellar, his first Hollywood crossover film. That year, he was also chosen to be among People magazine's sexiest newcomers. Boyishly handsome, Chen can get around pretty anonymously on this side of the ocean. But in Hong Kong and mainland China, he is a virtual multimedia brand, a would've-been Sean "Puffy" Combs with an expanding list of job titles: film and music star, record producer, fashion entrepreneur and hip-hop style icon.
"Edison enjoyed, before the outbreak of the sex-photo scandal, enormous popularity in Hong Kong and among the Chinese speaking community around the world, including China and Taiwan," says Vivienne Chow, a Hong Kong-based entertainment journalist for the South China Morning Post who has followed the scandal closely. "He quickly established himself as a heartthrob with his unusually photogenic face" — a face that won him lucrative endorsement deals with Pepsi, Mastercard, Samsung and others.

"I think an apt U.S. parallel might be someone like Justin Timberlake," says Anne Ciecko, a professor of contemporary Asian cinema and popular culture at the University of Massachussetts-Amherst. "He's got marketable boyish appeal and musical talents, some acting chops, tons of commodity potential." And the life suited him. "I was a lost soul," he said in a 2006 interview. "I swear becoming an entertainer has saved my life and made me more focused. I was so lost before."
On the surface, at least, Chen's life before fame seems quite ordinary. Born in Vancouver in October 1980, Chen grew up in a close-knit family with his mother and two sisters (one of whom, Tricia, also has a career as a pop star in Hong Kong). His father, Edward Chen, a businessman, moved back to Hong Kong to work, but stayed closely connected to the family. Chen told BeingHunted, an online magazine, in a 2006 interview, "My family has inspired me the most in my life . . . I believe my mother is the best woman in this world . . . and she has guided me to be a righteous person, taught me my values, taught me how to REALLY treat a lady. And then there is my father who has guided me through so many of my career problems."

As a boy growing up in Richmond, B.C., Chen, along with his cousin Oscar, was a rabid collector of sports cards and comics — X-men, Batman, Superman, the standard boy fare. He spent much of his time at Imperial Hobbies, a local game and comic-book store where he eventually worked. "We used to deal with him quite a bit when he was a kid," says Francis Munroe, the store owner. "He was very intelligent and probably one of the best kids I knew for being so polite." His acting career came as no surprise at all, says Dave Strutt, the store manager. "He was a very charming young fellow. I think the girls always found him charming, too. Any girls around."

One summer, Chen, who attended R.C. Palmer High School, went to visit his father in Hong Kong — which has long served as the heart of the Chinese-language entertainment industry. He was approached by a talent scout about shooting a commercial. He also caught the eye of actor Jackie Chan, who approached Chen about signing him for a movie. At that point, Chen had virtually no experience in the entertainment world. So he enrolled in Jackie Chan's school for young actors, and spent eight months learning martial arts, singing and dancing. Unlike the North American star system, where J.Los and Timberlakes are a relative rarity, Hong Kong pop stars have a long tradition of crossing platforms. They're expected to be able to do everything: sing, dance, act, sell merchandise. Their images are very carefully sculpted and controlled. At the age of 20, Chen signed a record deal with Emperor Entertainment Group (EEG) and in November 2000, his first CD, Edison Chen, hit gold. He was on his way to teen idol-dom.

His early hits were syrupy Canto-pop ballads — songs about shy glances and puppy love he'd sing to hordes of swooning girls. Likewise, his early films were mostly pop fare with titles like Gen Y Cops and The Spy Dad. "Girls have posters of him in their bedrooms and stickers of him on their notebooks at school," says Robert Vance, an American teacher and writer based in China. "I don't ever hear anyone talking about his great movies or songs. They just talk about his looks."

Chen's Canadian roots gave him a certain cachet, and he had the added advantage of being able to perform in four languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and English. This put him in the position to become huge not just in Hong Kong, but throughout China. In the former British colony's post-handover era, there is a great deal more overlap in popular culture with the mainland. China has opened up more in recent years, too, with a lot of its Westernization coming via Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. Though there are still some restrictions on the flow of content into the mainland, says Cieko, they have proven nearly impossible to enforce with the spread of the Internet.

As he became more successful, and able to exert a measure of influence over his career, Chen made use of his North American "outsider" appeal and morphed into a bad-boy hip-hop artist, which he felt was more authentically his style. In 2004, he released his first Cantonese hip-hop album, Please Steal This Album. Several singles off the record, peppered with English slang, topped the local charts. Last year, he released what he called China's first rap album, a Mandarin record called Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself, with tracks produced by Kanye West. In 2006, he won the U.S. hip-hop industry's seal of approval when he opened West's first show in Kowloon. He also earned some acting credibility when he starred in the crime-thriller trilogy Infernal Affairs (hailed as the godfather saga of Hong Kong), which Martin Scorsese later remade as the Oscar-winning film The Departed.

The mania around Chen ensured that he would become a popular target for the country's flourishing paparazzi. In the tabloids, he was always pictured with one beautiful girlfriend or another, as would befit a young pop star. He was not, however, universally admired in his adopted country. Chen felt that, as a rapper, he was often singled out by increasingly aggressive tabloid reporters. "They choose to target me and say a lot of bulls--t," he said in 2006.

But observers say Chen often brought negative attention upon himself. "Edison has never been the most popular among the press," says Vivienne Chow. "Despite this being a highly Westernized society, manners are still regarded as highly important here and Edison did not always show the kind of manners that the press expected." In 2004, he was involved in a street brawl in Hong Kong with a couple of teenagers who were taunting him and mimicking his breakdance moves. One of them threw a punch. Chen suffered face and neck injuries, but he declined to press charges. In May 2007, in a heated moment, Chen was charged for kicking and denting a taxi that was blocking his driveway and was put on a one-year good behaviour bond.

But changes were coming. By this point, Chen was well on his way toward building his own Jay-Z style hip-hop empire in China. In 2003, having read Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, he co-founded CLOT, an urban lifestyle company that specializes in everything youth-culture-related — including urban fashion, a music label, corporate consulting and event production. He even opened his own New York-style pizza joint. In Hong Kong and China, Chen said in one interview, there were no other companies fully taking advantage of the booming urban youth market. After reading Gladwell's book, he said, "I realized I had the power to be the first match to light the huge fire." CLOT has done design collaborations (or "collabos" as he calls them) with Nike, Pepsi, Levi's and Lacoste, among others.

As he got older, his playboy image had begun to mature and his entrepreneurialism had earned him some industry respect. "I used to hate interviews," he told Vivienne Chow in May 2006. "But now I love interviews because . . . people are actually respecting me more to talk about real issues instead of, 'What kind of girl do you like? Long hair? Lush lips? Wearing Nike?' You know. They actually ask me about my work now. And I'm appreciating that and maybe it's because I'm actually putting time into my work now. Whereas before I used to just show up." Of course this was before his Apple PowerBook laptop, where he stored his most private mementos, went on the fritz.

In late January of this year, the first series of three explicit pictures turned up online. They showed Chen engaged in sexual acts with Gillian Chung and Cecilia Cheung, two of Hong Kong's biggest female stars. Photos featuring at least a half a dozen other female celebrities continued to leak onto the Internet, until there were hundreds — featuring them naked, semi-naked, in the shower, with stuffed animals, in bikinis, and in every conceivable position — being passed around by the millions, crashing servers and bringing the entertainment industry to a standstill. Among his many co-stars in the photos were singer Candice Chan, model-actress Rachel Ngan, and former beauty pageant contestant Mandy Chan. Some were in other well-publicized relationships at the time the scandal erupted. Others were implicated, like Maggie Q of the Hollywood film Live Free or Die Hard, but denied any involvement with Chen.

Adding to the hype was a mysterious personage — only self-identifying as "Kira," the name of a well-known Manga character — who was leaking the images systematically, ostensibly from a foreign location, and publicly taunting a hapless police force trying to contain the onslaught. The story played out like a mystery-thriller and fans followed along obsessively: who would be next? What obscene position would they be engaged in? Was Chen's life really being threatened?

As much as Chen was chastised, fans largely blamed the women involved. Cecilia Cheung, for instance, is married to a Hong Kong celebrity named Nicholas Tse, and the scandal sparked gossip that their new child might be Chen's. Two others reportedly called off their engagements. "In Hong Kong, in some ways they are very conservative," says Shuyu Kong, a professor of Chinese media and popular culture at the University of Sydney in Australia. "You think of Hong Kong as Westernized and open, but not in every aspect."

Particularly shocking to the public was Twins' Gillian Chung, a spokesperson for Hong Kong Disneyland, who has appeared with Chen in a number of very sweet Canto-pop videos, the kind parents approve of. Despite her weepy public apology — she said she was "naive" in her youth — and her record company EEG's early insistence that the photos were doctored, fans were shocked and angered that she deceived them by faking an "innocent girl" image. "In public, she frequently claimed how she was just so pure, naive and a virgin," says Kong. "She was a girl in her twenties who said she had never been kissed, and when she was kissed, she was so uncomfortable. She never had a boyfriend. People loved to believe it."

The story occupied the front pages of the local papers for a month: the Los Angeles Times reported that some papers in Hong Kong experienced a 50 per cent jump in circulation during the scandal. Particularly in mainland China, says Kong, fan culture of any sort is a new thing, and there is a belief that stars should be infallible. "Maybe 10 years ago fan culture was not so big," she says. "But now it's such a big thing and a lot of them are high school and even elementary school students." The biggest celebrities in China have a god-like status that they don't have in North America, Kong says. On the one hand, they're expected to have a very cool, edgy image, but on the other, fans still expect them to have an impeccable moral compass.

The scandal was discussed on every entertainment and current affairs show, with expert panellists from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and beyond assembled to discuss its various social and political ramifications. In Guangzhou, in Guangdong province, the most open city in the country, schools used this case to teach their students about privacy and morality: how to think about pop idols; how to correctly use the Internet; and the importance of the social value of privacy. "The schools decided they can't avoid [the scandal]," says Kong, "and so they want to use it almost like a textbook case study to preach their ideas."

As for the Hong Kong police force, just because they couldn't contain it, it didn't stop them from waging a valiant effort. The computer store where Chen had initially taken his broken laptop was raided. Authorities seized computers that contained 1,300 pictures belonging to Chen. In the week after the photos leaked, nine people were arrested, including computer store technician Sze Honchun, who was charged with accessing a computer with dishonest intent. Also charged was a 24-year-old clerk in Kowloon, who is alleged to have uploaded zipped files containing 93 photos classified as "indecent" or "obscene" to an online server in Cyprus, and then pasted hyperlinks to the files in a Hong Kong forum, where they could be accessed by anyone.

"The Hong Kong police don't have much experience in dealing with this kind of cyber- crime," says Shuyu Kong. The day after they announced their victory — that they had rooted out the source and apprehended a perpetrator — a flood of new photos came out, accompanied by messages from Kira: "Catch me if you can!" Desperate, the police threatened to punish anyone caught possessing, distributing, or looking at the photos. "The police head made this announcement and a lot of people just panicked, or felt angry," says Kong. "They thought, Why? It's on the Internet. Just because I watch it I can be punished? Lawmakers didn't agree with this police statement. There was quite a controversy about it."

The public generally responded in one of two ways: there were those who believed it was a privacy issue, and that a crackdown was warranted because the photos were stolen property and the public shouldn't be free to pass around private, explicit pictures. On the other side, however, were those who said it was a freedom-of-speech issue — and that police were selectively applying obscenity laws. In early February, more than 200 people protested the police's handling of the case. They argued that there are thousands of nude photos on the Web, posted without the subjects' permission — why zero in on these ones just because they involve public personalities?

In any case, in mainland China, the government's early reaction, a crackdown on those who had viewed the photos, proved ineffectual. "It quickly became apparent that this was not going to occur in light of the fact that millions were viewing the photos," said Vance. It was not the first time the Chinese government had made promises it couldn't keep when it came to cleaning up the Internet. For example, in December 2007, they announced that all video sharing sites would be under state control. "They had to scale back that plan when they realized that it just wasn't feasible," he said. "Even sites that are routinely blocked in China — such as YouTube and the BBC — can be viewed easily using anonymous proxies." In short, there is no stopping a curious fan.

The entire Edison Chen ordeal underscores the fact that, where sex is concerned, the younger generation in China may as well have grown up on a different planet from their parents and grandparents. During the reign of Mao Zedong, all discussion of romantic love and sexuality were prohibited — deemed preoccupations of the self-indulgent bourgeoisie. Men and women wore the same unisex uniforms and hairstyles. In fact, it was not until the '80s that basic sexual-education programs were developed, and even then, discussion limited to the importance of using birth control to limit population growth.

Now, after decades of sexual repression, China is experiencing something of a sexual renaissance. Provocative advertising, sex shops, and films with steamy love scenes suddenly proliferate. Prostitution in hotels and karaoke brothels is soaring because of the country's one-child policy, which created a generation of men with too few potential female partners.

The new openness brings some undesirable consequences — rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are up. And of course, when you squeeze decades of social evolution into a handful of years, there is bound to be conflict and resistance as young and old stake their positions. In the midst of these growing pains, perhaps no one was quite prepared for Edison Chen. "It was certainly a huge shock to the society as something like this has never happened before in the Chinese entertainment world," says Vivienne Chow. Outraged by the Chinese media's wall-to-wall coverage of the scandal, Shanghai Daily critic Wy Jiayin wrote, "The obsession with low-taste news may be nothing in the West, but it's time for Chinese journalists to reflect: shall we follow the amusing-ourselves-to-death path that has never been part of mainstream Chinese culture?"

The public, meanwhile, had to come to terms with the reality that the pictures didn't download themselves. "The outward reaction was of disgust, disappointment and shock," says Vance, "but when you press students on their true feelings, they admit that 'in these times' it really is no big deal. The 'shock, disgust and disappointment' that they express is probably mirroring what their parents are saying but my students seem to be more fascinated by the scandal than anything else. The younger generation is much more open to sex than before. In fact, they are curious about it. One of my students explained to me that she viewed the photos because she wanted to learn more about sexual techniques since her parents never talked to her about sex."

Meanwhile, the personal consequences for Chen have been enormous. His Mastercard billboards have come down. His mother apologized to the press, saying she had failed as a parent to instill good morals in her son. Chen was cut from Columbia Pictures's new Hong Kong-produced film, Jump, and Sing Tao Daily estimated the scandal could cost Chen HK$10 million in work and endorsements a year, not to mention the more than HK$2 million he earned per year in voice-over work, which has in the past included projects such as the Cantonese Shrek the Third.

Since the Feb. 21 press conference, the question that remains is: can Chen ever come back? Many say no, but Shuyu Kong believes many people were won over by his contrition. "He apologized very sincerely," she says, "and lots of people, at least in the media, sympathize and forgive him." He is rumoured to be starting production on a new film this summer, a co-production between a Singapore company and an independent U.S. production house, in which he plays an American student in Singapore who falls in love with a local woman, played by the actress Shu Qi.

Perhaps he would be best to take his own advice. In 2006, Chen told an online Hong Kong magazine, "If I could go back in my life, I wouldn't change a goddamn thing. I am happy with the way my life's events have shaped me, my character and my values. Sometimes you got to go through the tough pain to make the extra stride to maturity." If he is wise, he will chalk the past four months up to one giant stride.

Jet Li and Jackie Chan super combo in Forbidden Kingdom

Jet Li and Jackie Chan super combo in Forbidden Kingdom

If Jet Li fights Jackie Chan, who will win? The audience will, says Rob Minkoff, director of The Forbidden Kingdom (Gongfu Zhi Wang), which premieres in North America today opens in China six days later.

It has been a dream come true for Chinese martial art lovers to see the two icons in one film. The story starts with a dream. Jason, an American teenage kungfu fan enters a fantastic world through the "gate of no gate," and embarks on the mission to rescue the Monkey King, who's trapped in a stone by his foe, Jade Warlord. Like the young Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings, Jason has several powerful escorts, including a silent monk played by Li and a drunken wanderer played by Chan.

The family-friendly film is a collaboration of scriptwriter John Fusco and Li. Several years ago Li was seeking a story for his daughter, and from a number of candidates sent to him he picked Fusco's, which was loosely adapted from the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. It is a mix of Chinese mythology and tales and features a chaotic scene in which the Monkey King and Shaolin Temple monks fight together.

However, Li worried that the story was too much of a spoof for Chinese audience to accept. He suggested changing the storyline into a dream sequence. In dreams, anything can happen.

Minkoff is also quick to assume Chinese cinemagoers that the film in no way cheapens Chinese culture. He was even told by his Chinese wife, a descendant of the saint Confucius, and her parents that they would not tolerate cultural mockery.

"They put great pressure on me," he says jokingly. "I made sure that the characters are true to themselves, and to the core values they were endowed by Chinese culture."

Li has also helped introduce Chinese philosophy to the film. For example, when Jason asks Li's monk what to do when he is in danger, the monk replies: "Keep breathing". The two masters not only teach the boy kungfu, but also the importance of respecting his teachers.

"It has long been my wish to promote Chinese culture," Li says. "But it is a huge and complicated culture, so we may have to start with a simple approach first.

"To present a little bit of everything in an interesting way may be easier for Western audiences."

The good news for kungfu enthusiasts is that fight scenes take up a lot of screen time. There are a variety of kungfu styles on show, including the crane and tiger fist, no shadow kick and drunken kungfu. Minkoff grew up in the bay area of San Francisco. Like Jason in the film, as a little boy he went to China town a lot. But what piqued his interest in Chinese culture were kungfu films.

"In Chinese kungfu movies, typically two things are being expressed," he says. "One is the physical act of the fighting, and the spiritual side of the teaching, involving experience and conscience."

Minkoff's first Chinese kungfu film was King Hu's Come Drink with Me (Da Zui Xia), in 1966. He is fond of Bruce Lee and Shaw's films, too. In The Forbidden Kingdom, he goes out of his way to pay tribute to the old kungfu films.

Chan's drunken wanderer is a nod to his 1978 film Drunken Master (Zui Quan), while the silent monk Li reminds many of his character in The Shaolin Temple (Shaolin Si). Young actress Liu Yifei's supporting role as Golden Sparrow is inspired by Pei-pei Cheng's character in Come Drink with Me, while the white-haired witch is almost a replica of Lien Ni-chang, the heroine in Ronny Yu's The Bride of White Hair (Baifa Monu Zhuan).

The battles between Li and Chan, choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping, give each a chance to express his different style and personality.

"Jet was serious. He has learned traditional martial arts from a very young age, while Chan was hilarious and lighthearted," Yuen says.

"He can do a bit of everything," Yuen says.

A scene from the movie featuring Jason as an American teenage kungfu fan, Jackie Chan as a drunken wanderer and Jet Li as a silent monk. Photos courtesy of Huayi Brothers

In Minkoff's eyes, the two superstars are just like Buddha and his disciple.

"Li was like a disciple of the Buddha, but Chan is the Buddha himself," he says. "Jet is very serious and religiously dedicated to Buddhism. Jackie is not, he is free, always bringing happiness to people around him."

The crew took part in a big ceremony for the opening of the film, which was a very traditional Chinese gesture to pay tribute to the Buddha. As Minkoff recalled, Chan was quite lighthearted about it, while Li was serious and dedicated.

The two's cooperation, says Minkoff, is like the Beatles. Each is good, but when you put them together, it is magic.

"It's history. As time goes on, it will become historic. Even if you do it again, this is the first time," he says.