NextSharkNextShark.com
Latest Newsletter🍵 Details from Half Moon BayRead

Article

Asian Blaxpoitation heroine that was inspiration for ‘Kill Bill’ protagonist revived for TV series

  • Southeast Asian action hero Cleopatra Wong, played by Singaporean actor Marrie Lee (aka Doris Young) in a series of films in the late 1970s, is being revived for an upcoming show.

  • Created by Filipino filmmaker Bobby Suarez, the character served as the inspiration for Uma Thurman’s character Beatrix "The Bride" Kiddo in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” movies and was

  • Independent studio The Ink Factory, which has obtained the rights to the charfblacter, is co-producing the new series with Singapore-based Beach House Pictures.

  • Chinese American writer Tasha Huo (“Tomb Raider”) and Thai-British writer Chris Cornwell (“A Discovery of Witches”) will share writing duties for the new project.

Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories, to your inbox daily, for free!

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive

Cleopatra Wong, the badass Singaporean Interpol agent from the Asian grindhouse scene of the ‘70s, is back.

The Southeast Asian action hero, who reportedly was the inspiration for Uma Thurman’s character Beatrix ” The Bride” Kiddo in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” movies, is being revived for an upcoming TV show set in the 21st century, according to Variety

The character, played by Singaporean actor Marrie Lee (aka Doris Young) in a series of films in the late 1970s, was created by Filipino filmmaker Bobby Suarez. The name appears to have been based on “Cleopatra Jones,” an American Blaxploitation film from 1973. 

“They Call Her… Cleopatra Wong,” the 1978 low-budget classic that introduced the character, was digitally restored in 4K last year by the Asian Film Archive.

The Cleopatra Wong films earned a cult following for distinctly combining elements from the spy genre with the Asian martial arts genre.

In an interview with The Straits Times in 2003, Tarantino said that “Cleopatra Wong was a gigantic inspiration” in some of his films. 

Independent studio The Ink Factory, which has obtained the rights for the character, is co-producing the new series with Singapore-based Beach House Pictures.s

“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,” said The Ink Factory co-founders Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell in a statement. 

Chinese American writer Tasha Huo (“Tomb Raider”) and Thai British writer Chris Cornwell (“A Discovery of Witches”) will share writing duties for the new project.

A Cleopatra Wong series has been in Beach House Pictures’ plans since 2018. In an interview with The Straits Times that year, Beach House Pictures’ Jocelyn Little stated that Wong “deserves a premium television series in the mold of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Jessica Jones or Orphan Black… She will be a complex woman with a personal life.”

The Ink Factory has a number of Asian projects in the works, including the Korean-language series “The Plotters” and thriller “Her Name is Knight.”

 

 Featured Image via Asian Film Archive

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

Support NextShark

Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal