Jailbreak team starts next film

Vithaya Pansringarm (left) with Gu Sheng Wei (right), the film’s villain and protagonist, at a press conference yesterday.
Vithaya Pansringarm (left) with Gu Sheng Wei (right), the film’s villain and protagonist, at a press conference yesterday. Sreng Meng Srun

The team behind Cambodian genre-busting flick and international hit Jailbreak begins shooting their next action film today, again featuring a local and international cast.

The Prey follows the secret mission of Xin, an undercover Chinese cop, who after a raid finds himself in a remote jungle prison, where its inmates are used as prey in games of trophy hunting. When the diabolical warden singles him out to take part in the sadistic game enjoyed by its wealthy visitors, he has to use his wit and combat skills to fight his way out.

Italian director Jimmy Henderson said yesterday that he came up with the concept a few years ago, but didn’t have the budget to make it happen until after Jailbreak’s success. He said the budget for making the film is “a little below a million dollars”.

“There are a lot of talents in Cambodia, and I want to see them mixed up with more international artists,” Henderson said. “We strongly believe that it will be a successful movie, and we will go all over the world with this movie.”

Xin is played by Chinese national boxing champion Gu Sheng Wei, known for his role in 2015 Chinese film Bloody Destiny. The warden is played by Vithaya Pansringarm, one of the most internationally recognised Thai actors, who starred in The Last Executioner and Only God Forgives. Dara Our, Dy Sonita and Tharoth Sam, three of the local cast from Jailbreak, are also in the film, with famous stunt choreographer Jean-Paul Ly designing the action sequences.

“I love being the villain because although good guys always win, without a villain, there is no fun,” Pansringarm said. “I will make it fun and interesting as a bad guy with unique personality and as a driving force, not simply a bad guy who is mean.”

The filming begins today in Phnom Penh and is expected to last a week, while the other three weeks of filming will be done in Koh Kong, including at the Tatai waterfall and Thma Bang district.

Henderson already foresees grappling with language barriers, and baking temperatures in the dry season, but said he was optimistic about the production.

“As long as everyone is committed to the project and understands my vision and what I am trying to say, everything will be smooth,” he said.