Wong Kar-wai’s “Blossoms Shanghai”: A Cinematic Journey into 1990s Shanghai

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Renowned filmmaker Wong Kar-wai is set to make his television series debut with “Blossoms Shanghai,” confirming his venture into dramatic TV production. This adaptation of Jin Yucheng’s acclaimed novel, set in Shanghai, holds sentimental value for Wong as it brings him back to his birthplace. Born in Shanghai and educated in the city, Wong is widely associated with the free-spirited Hong Kong film industry.

Taking on the roles of series producer and director of the pilot episode, Wong collaborates with Jet Tone (Xiangshan), a branch of his Jet Tone Films, for production. The international sales are entrusted to Block 2 Distribution, another company affiliated with Wong, while Tencent Penguin Pictures secures the rights for China, indicating a likely release on Tencent Video.

Shanghainese screenwriter Qin Wen crafts the adaptation, and the production unfolds entirely in Shanghai. Wong joins forces with Academy Award-winning cinematographer Peter Pau (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Forbidden Kingdom”) to bring the visuals to life. Leading the cast is Hu Ge (“The Wild Goose Lake,” “The Climbers”), a major Chinese star and Shanghai native, portraying a young opportunist navigating the city with a troubled past.

Set against the backdrop of Shanghai’s massive economic growth in the 1990s, the series delves into the protagonist’s journey through dazzling wealth and entanglements with four remarkable women, representing adventure, honor, love, and innocence, as described by Jet Tone.

Expressing his excitement for the project, Wong shared, “Jin Yucheng’s landmark novel ‘Blossoms’ has been the perfect backdrop to visualize and share my love for my birth city. With the series, I would like to invite the audience to immerse in the intrigues of Shanghai and its inhabitants in the early 1990s, an exciting time that paved the way for the prosperity of modern Shanghai.”