Entertainment

'The first and only Singaporean female Interpol agent': New series on Cleopatra Wong in the works


She may not be the queen of the Nile, but this Cleopatra’s captured both criminals and our hearts before, and now she’s set to do it again.

In an exclusive interview with Variety, the co-founders and co-CEOs of London- and Los Angeles-based independent studio The Ink Factory — Simon and Stephen Cornwell — revealed that works are underway to revive the 1970s cult hit character Cleopatra Wong, albeit in the form of a TV series.

The Cornwells expressed in the interview about how proud they are in giving Cleopatra “her voice in today’s world”.

“With its heart and its soul in Southeast Asia, the franchise brings a young female action hero and her companions to the screen in a way that will feel fresh, confident and authentic,” they said.

Cleopatra Wong was written as the “first and only Singaporean female Interpol agent” and was created by Filipino film producer Bobby Suarez based on the Blaxploitation era film and character Cleopatra Jones.

However, Cleopatra Wong took on a life of her own with martial arts action and thrill that ultimately led to Quentin Tarantino taking influence from her for his film, the cult classic Kill Bill.

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And it’s only appropriate that Cleopatra Wong was portrayed by a Singaporean as well — local showbiz talent Marrie Lee, also known as Doris Young, took up the mantle in her youth.

Bobby and Marrie gave life to the character through three separate movies: They Call Her… Cleopatra Wong, Dynamite Johnson and Devil’s Angels.

The Cornwells’ Ink Factory have acquired rights to Cleopatra Wong and are collaborating with Beach House Pictures which is based in Singapore, Variety reported.

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Of their alliance, Beach House Pictures’ co-founders Donovan Chan and Jocelyn Little told Variety: “We’re confident that our unique blend of East-meets-West creativity and perspective will bring something truly innovative to Asian and international television audiences.”

Cleopatra Wong is set to return to our screens in a tale co-written by Chinese-American writer Tasha Huo and Thai-British writer Chris Cornwell (unrelated to The Ink Factory’s Cornwells).

“[We hope to create] something that will be true to the roots of the franchise, retaining both its sheer joy and its sense of social mission, but at the same time feeling utterly contemporary and hugely entertaining,” Simon and Stephen said.

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khooyihang@asiaone.com



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