Interviews

Adrian Teh on "Goodbye Mr Loser" remake

Writer: Erny Suzira



Adrian Teh's new film will be a remake of China's sleeper hit.

Despite being accused of plagiarising the 1986 American film, "Peggy Sue Got Married", China's sleeper hit, "Goodbye Mr Loser" was a huge success. Which is why Malaysian filmmaker Adrian Teh is inspired to create a remake of the popular movie.

If haven't already watched the Chinese film, it is about a guy who accidentally travels back to the past to fix all of his life's mistakes and achieves the dreams that he never could in his present life.

Starring a new cast line-up including Singapore-based Chinese actor Ian Fang and Taiwanese actress Phoebe Huang, the film, which is still in early production is scheduled to hit cinemas in 2017.

While on a set visit for the film, we spoke to director Adrian Teh on what to expect from the Malaysian remake and to what extent will it be different from the original.

Cinema Online: Why do you want to remake "Goodbye Mr. Loser"?

Adrian: I've watched the film before, and I think that it's a very good film. The script was nicely written and it is very funny. So when I watched this film, I feel that the plot suited the Malaysian context, but it can also travel internationally because it's a comedy. So I decided to look for opportunities to remake the film. After discussing it with the original directors for a few months, the project was greenlighted.


The director talks about the film.

The film has a lot of new actors and actresses, why did you choose this line-up of cast?

Adrian: When I discussed about this movie with the original directors, they advised me to not too use too many experienced actors because it will ruin the film's essence, as well as the characters. Even in the original film, most of the cast were new. So when we had this idea in mind, the casting process took about three months and more than 300 people auditioned for the movie. For some of the characters, I already had certain actors in mind, for example Phoebe Huang, I think she suits her character well.


All the cast and crew of the new remake.

Hi Ian this would be your first time in working with Adrian Teh. What are your thoughts?

Ian: I am so honoured to be able to work with one of the best directors in Malaysia. When I first found out that I was going to work with Adrian, I was shocked, as he is quite young and I couldn't believe that he was already directing. I'm very happy to be given the opportunity to work with everyone in this film. The plot of this movie is really interesting, it's not only funny, but at times, it is also touching.


Ian Fang plays a loser who travels back to the past to correct his mistakes.

What about Phoebe, what do you have to say about the film?

Phoebe: I play the mother of the hero and I'm really excited that I get to act with a bunch of youngsters. What I like about this film is that it gives you that nostalgic feeling. It's the kind of film that makes you think that if you have the chance to go back to the past and make some changes, what would you change? So I feel that the film has so many meaningful elements, and I'm sure most of the cast are pressured that the film would be compared to the original, all I can say is don't think too much, believe in the director, and just do the best that we can!


Phoebe Huang at the press conference.

How will the remake differ from the original?

Adrian: The story is originally from a popular stage play in Mainland China which has been shown all around the country for three years. The original script for the movie is very good and it also took around three years to be developed. Of course some parts of the script which doesn't suit the Malaysian context were either omitted or changed.

In the original film, the hero travels back to 1997 because that year resonates more with the people in China and Hong Kong, but for my film, the hero travels to 1999 instead, and most of the cast are much younger. Also, we chose 15 familiar pop songs that are more known in Malaysia such as "The New Butterfly Dream" by Huang An and others.

Another point that I would like to share, I've also asked the directors of the original movie regarding some of the scenes that they wished that they could have included in the original film, because I'm very sure that every director would have regrets, something that they wished they could've added in their films. So I asked them about it and told them that maybe I could try to squeeze some of them in my remake.

What else can the audience expect from the movie?

Adrian: The film will also feature a lot of popular special guests, but since it is still in early production, we cannot reveal who they are yet. I am very excited to see the end result of the film, because the script is really very strong, and I'm very satisfied with the line-up of cast and also their performances.

Cinema Online, 27 September 2016

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