The box-office and critical success of the futuristic blockbuster “The Wandering Earth” has attracted big talents to join the follow-up film.
In “The Wandering Earth II,” a prequel to the 2019 hit, one of Hong Kong’s biggest artists, Andy Lau (“As Tears Go By,” “House of Flying Daggers,” “Infernal Affairs”), is playing a scientist. Just as the film’s creative team is happy to have Lau on board, Lau couldn’t be more elated. “My sci-fi dream is fulfilled,” Lau shared at the press conference for “The Wandering Earth II,” in Philippine cinemas May 31. “And I still feel immersed in the character today and don’t want to wake up.”
As exciting as it was to star in the prequel to the groundbreaking Chinese science fiction film, it also had its challenges, particularly when it came to wearing his spacesuit costume. “Putting on the suit makes it difficult to turn around or even twist (my body),” he also shared at the press conference. “The most unbearable part is I have no way to scratch where it itches. I stuck duct tape on the inside of my helmet, so I could relieve the urges by rubbing my face against the tape.”
Spacesuits, Earth engines, and mind-blowing science aside, the film’s set had an easy and friendly family atmosphere. “During the filming, I could feel the extraordinary cohesion of the crew. All of us are exploring and climbing this peak called science fiction film,” veteran Chinese actor Li Xuejian said.
In “The Wandering Earth II,” after learning that the sun is rapidly burning out and will obliterate Earth in the process, humans build enormous engines to propel the planet to a new solar system, far out of reach of the sun’s fiery flares. However, the journey out into the universe is perilous, and humankind’s last shot at survival will depend on a group of young people brave enough to step up and execute a dangerous, life-or-death operation to save the earth. The film, to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures exclusively in cinemas in the Philippines, also stars global action icon Wu Jing, who headlined the first film.
“With my wife’s support, I starred in the first ‘The Wandering Earth,’ trying to plant a seed of imagination for children,” said Jing. “This time in the film, many things have upgraded. The seed we planted has grown big and is actively sprouting. I feel so accomplished.”
“The Wandering Earth II,” released in China and the U.S. in January in time for the Chinese New Year, has earned USD 604 million, making it so far the third highest-grossing movie of the year in terms of box-office numbers.