6 Jul – The fourth instalment of Jack Neo's popular "Ah Boys to Men" franchise has begun filming last month and with it comes several updates on the upcoming comedy movie.
The most prominent of the new tweaks made to the production is undoubtedly the inclusion of a female character in the main cast.
Hong Kong-based actress Apple Chan will be starring as Zhang Xinyi, a lieutenant in the Armour unit, according to Channel NewsAsia.
She will be joined by returning lead actors Tosh Zhang, Wang Weiliang, Joshua Tan and Maxi Lim in the movie. The aforementioned actors' characters, Sergeant Ong (Zhang), Lobang (Wang), Ken Chow (Tan) and Wayang King (Lim), will be reporting to her army officer character.
"Wearing the uniform, I already feel very proud. So much so that I feel like I want to serve the nation now," said the 28-year-old Singapore PR who added that she has "nothing but respect for women serving in the army".
She also said that she was honoured and happy to be the first 'female Ah Boy'.
Director Jack Neo stated that including a female officer in the movie is fitting and appropriate since "women (serving) in the Singapore Armed Forces are very common, especially in the Armour unit. There are female tank officers, female armour officers."
Meanwhile, actor Wang Weiliang, who plays Bang "Lobang" Lee Onn, told The Straits Times that the original Ah Boys gang are back as reservists. As the characters are older now, they will be married with children.
It will definitely be amusing to see the mischievous boys, especially Lobang, being fathers.
Filming for "Ah Boys to Men 4", which begun on 29 June, is expected to wrap in three months' time. This timeline also includes the filming for the fifth movie. Both movies will be made on an estimated SGD5 million budget.
"Ah Boys to Men 4" is marching to the big screen end of this year, to coincide with 2017 being the 50th anniversary of Singapore's National Service, while "Ah Boys to Men 5" is scheduled for release in Chinese New Year 2018.
(Photo source: Shin Min Daily News)