“Vietnam will soon be on the radar of martial arts movie fans in the west, if it hasn’t happened already. Home video rights to THE REBEL, a Vietnamese action drama from emerging action star Johnny Nguyen have been acquired by The Weinstein Company.”
“Nguyen, who not only stars but co-wrote the script and co-produced the pic with Jimmy Pham, has already gotten his feet wet in world action cinema by co-starring opposite Tony Jaa as a martial arts-fighting villain in TOM YUM GOONG (aka THE PROTECTOR), another acquisition of TWC that was released in theaters and on DVD in 2006.
Although a drama, the pic is heavy on martial arts action, which we all know sells well internationally. It appears geared as a breakthrough film for Nguyen as an international action star and for his homeland, Vietnam.
Although born in Vietnam, Nguyen has grown up in the U.S. where he trained in kung fu, tai chi, aikido, and wushu. After having been a member of the U.S. Wushu Team, Nguyen began working his way into the film industry and had his first real break when he was cast as a hitman in CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE, starring Jet Li and Mark Dacascos.
THE REBEL takes place in 1920s Vietnam. The long standing French colonization over the country has inflamed anti-French sentiments. At the height of the conflict, rebel forces emerge in many forms to disrupt the foreign occupiers. In response, the French employed elite units of Vietnamese agents to track and destroy these rebels.
The film follows the journey of Le Van Cuon (Johnny Nguyen), a French-cultured undercover elite. Although branded with the perfect track record, Cuong’s conscience is troubled by the sea of Vietnamese blood he has spilled to uphold a French washed ideal.”