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‘Wiro Sableng’ an eye opener for Hollywood filmmakers

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, August 30, 2018 | 01:08 pm
‘Wiro Sableng’ an eye opener for Hollywood filmmakers

Wiro Sableng (Vino G. Bastian, left) tries to catch his powerful axe, the Kapak Maut Naga Geni 212, next to his teacher Sinto Gendeng (Ruth Marini). (Lifelike Pictures channel on YouTube/File)

Action-fantasy film Wiro Sableng: Pendekar Kapak Maut Naga Geni 212, one of the most highly anticipated local films of the year, is the product of a collaboration between Lifelike Pictures and Fox International Productions, a division of 20th Century Fox.

The film has been promoted heavily in the past six months, including in an antipiracy campaign and in a trailer for Deadpool 2.

Kurt Rieder, the Asia Pacific executive vice president of 20th Century Fox International, said during an interview with The Jakarta Post on Monday that the film was meant to not only boost the confidence of the Indonesian film community, but also to show Hollywood filmmakers that there is a whole world outside the United States.

“Sometimes, I think, in the American world, they don’t perceive how rich IP (intellectual property) is out there in the world,” he said. "As a test case, Wiro Sableng was special because the rich IP can be developed toward many possibilities, such as more movies or TV spin-offs."

Rieder also said that as the Indonesian film industry continued to grow, it would only be a matter of time until collaborations were seen between Hollywood and Indonesian filmmakers. He mentioned the Chinese film industry, which has worked with American filmmakers and stars.

Read also: Wiro Sableng' delivers entertaining action scenes

Asia Pacific executive vice president of 20th Century Fox International Kurt Rieder (front left), Lifelike Pictures producer Sheila Timothy (front center) and film director Angga Dwimas Sasongko (front right) take part in a press conference in Epicentrum XXI, South Jakarta, on Aug. 27. Asia Pacific executive vice president of 20th Century Fox International Kurt Rieder (front left), Lifelike Pictures producer Sheila Timothy (front center) and film director Angga Dwimas Sasongko (front right) take part in a press conference in Epicentrum XXI, South Jakarta, on Aug. 27. (JP/Umair Rizaludin)

When asked about plans to collaborate with other Indonesian filmmakers, Rieder said that their hands were full.

“We haven’t done anything beyond this,” he said, adding that talks were in place on making a second or third film.

Rieder strongly praised the first installment of Wiro Sableng, saying that the movie had exceeded expectations.

“[Lifelike Pictures producer] Sheila [Timothy] was so professional, not only from the script, budget and production point of view,” he said. “She mastered the film in 4K, which is not even a requirement for us, but we’re really impressed by that.”

Rieder also praised actor Vino G. Bastian's efforts to promote the film.

“[Vino] works harder than Tom Cruise or Ryan Reynolds, he’d do anything,” he said, adding that besides making a great film, filmmakers also needed to get a lot of people excited about it.

Following the release in Indonesia, Rieder said that Wiro Sableng: Pendekar Kapak Maut Naga Geni 212 would have theatrical releases in Malaysia on Sept. 27 and Singapore on Oct. 11.

The team is planning to sell the film to different players, including over-the-top (OTT) companies.

“We’re in discussions now about the Chinese release that might go to cinemas,” added Rieder. (wng)

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