Sequel to Chinese remake of Bollywood’s ‘Drishyam’ set for blockbuster status: film observers
Published: Nov 18, 2021 06:19 PM
Promotional material of Sheep Without a Shepherd 2 Photo: Courtesy of Maoyan

Promotional material of Sheep Without a Shepherd 2 Photo: Courtesy of Maoyan

Sheep Without a Shepherd 2
, the sequel to the blockbuster 2019 film Sheep Without a Shepherd, might end up being the highest-earning crime and suspense film of 2021 based on its previous success in the adaptation of India’s Bollywood film, Chinese film observers said on Thursday.

Sheep Without a Shepherd is a remake of director Jeethu Joseph’s 2013 Indian Malayalam-language film Drishyam, which also spawned an Indian Hindi-language remake of the same name by Nishikant Kamat in 2015. 

According to Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan, Sheep Without a Shepherd earned 1.33 billion yuan ($206 million) in the Chinese mainland, making it the ninth highest-earning Chinese film in 2019.

“The success of Sheep Without a Shepherd comes from the wonderful story structure of the Indian movie Drishyam,” Xiao Fuqiu, a film critic based in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Thursday, adding that true classic films are worth remaking in other countries. 

Sheep Without a Shepherd 2, which is set to premiere on December 24, is also a remake, this time of the US film John Q. starring Denzel Washington. The film holds a high score of 8.4/10 on Chinese media review platform Douban. 

The film tells the story of a poor but happy family. However, things change after their son is involved in an accident. Caught between a son in need of treatment and high medical bills, the desperate father decides to give it his all to save his son and comes up with a shocking plan…

Though the remake departs from the original film, its story still remains that of a father willing to risk it all for his child. 

Actor Xiao Yang continues to play the role of the father, while two hit Hong Kong actors, Simon Yam and Janice Man, join the cast. Chen Sicheng, director of the blockbuster comedy film series Detective Chinatown, remains as the producer. 
“Chinese audiences cannot be more familiar with the TVB police officer role played by Simon Yam. It’s a perfect fit for him to play this role again in the sequel,” Shi Wenxue, a film critic based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The star-studded cast as well as the interesting story has hooked the hearts of many Chinese moviegoers who have expressed high anticipation for the film. Many Chinese film insiders predict that the sequel may become the most successful and popular crime film of 2021 and may end up becoming a series of movies like the Detective Chinatown franchise.

Sheep Without a Shepherd 2 already possesses most of the elements for a movie’s success including the solid wordofmouth accumulated by the first series, a good story and a reliable cast. But the key to becoming a blockbuster comes down to localization and the director’s ability to control the entire project,” Xiao said.

On December 24, Christmas Eve, two other competitive Chinese films – Fire on the Plain starring Zhou Dongyu and B for Busy starring Xu Zheng – are also scheduled to hit theaters. But Shi pointed out that since these films are different genres, they will not compete with one another but form a healthy and multi-themed film market for the Chinese audience.