It’s been a rough year in the film industry during the coronavirus pandemic, but Cleveland filmmaker Johnny Wu has managed to see his latest project, “Immortal Combat: The Code” (originally titled “Wu Xia 2 The Code”) make it to DVD and Video on Demand (VOD).
Wu is the producer, director, and editor of the martial arts action movie, which will be available from online and big box retail stores starting today, Tuesday, Sept. 1. Immortal Comat depicts the Five Elements Clan fighting to save humanity with a code that the clan holds.
"We are excited to see this release—hard work does pay off,” says Wu. “And we are happy that many will have an opportunity to see the talented cast that is part of this project."
Immortal Combat was filmed in the Cleveland, Cortland, and Akron areas from September through December 2018. The actors hail from all over Cleveland and Akron, with one coming from Columbus.
The diverse cast includes Ben Zgorecki, Crystle Paynther, Keith Collins II, Jerry Sur, Matt Kane, Y Chan, Ben Garton, Leland Leger (from Columbus), Lisa Wong, and Wayne Wong.
While the 2020 IndieGathering International Film Festival in Cleveland has been postponed until March 11-14, 2021, Immortal Combat, under the title We Xia 2, has already been declared Best Action Feature Film.
And the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival will host a virtual screening on Thursday, Sept. 17. Get tickets here.
Despite the pandemic, Wu reports he is back to filmmaking this fall, when he starts production of the action sci-fi flick “Wu Lin the Society.” Wu and his team plan to film all over Ohio from late September to December.
In addition to taking all COVID-19 safety precautions during filming, Wu reports that masks are also being incorporated into the storyline of the movie.
“We tried to find a way to make sure we can move forward and film while the actors can continue to be safe” said Wu in a statement. “We thought why not have our feature action film story take place during the year 2050 when radiation, pollution, and viruses are rampant in the world and masks are required for people to breathe.”
Although the team had been planning to film Wu Lin The Society since January of this year, before COVID-19 hit, the team decided to explore the possibility of having actors wearing masks in front of the camera. “It would be something new and challenging for the actors,” Wu said of the plot twist.