Director Adrian Teh hopes his version of Goodbye Mr Loser will be a box office hit in Malaysia too.
The film, which made its world premiere at Japan’s 2017 Osaka Asian Film Festival recently, even has the blessings of the original’s joint writer-directors, Yan Fei and Peng Damo, who flew in to Malaysia to watch Adrian Teh’s version.
However, at a recent press conference held at GSC Mid Valley in Kuala Lumpur, Teh said he was not worried about matching the original film’s box office earnings.
“I don’t look at the box office when I make movies, because I always hope to do better each time. Now, with the directors of the original film here (in Malaysia), I hope that some of their good fortune would rub off on us. If we could collect up to 1% (about RM10mil) of the original version, that would be great!” he said.
Goodbye Mr Loser is about a down-on-his-luck musician who makes a mess of his life when he gets humiliated by his wife at the wedding of his high school crush. He unexpectedly gets a second chance in life when he finds himself travelling back in time to his schooling days in 1999, and ends up in the body of his teenage self.
Shanghai-born Singapore-based actor Ian Fang plays the male lead in the Malaysian version, while Malaysian actress Hoon Mei Sim plays his wife. Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant 2014 Anjoe Koh plays his high school crush.
Teh also roped in veterans like Malaysian actor Jack Lim to play the class teacher, Singaporean actor Richard Low to play the school principal, and Taiwanese actress Phoebe Huang to play Lin’s mother. Lin’s classmates are played by Tan Li Yang, Lex Pun, Vinx Lim, and Jack Yap.
Among the notable cameos are Malaysia’s Olympic medal-winning shuttlers Chan Peng Soon, Goh Liu Ying and Goh V Shem.
According to Teh, casting the movie alone took them two months.
“For the male lead, we went through 100 hopefuls. Following discussions with the original directors, we tried not to use big names, as we didn’t them to overshadow the movie character. So, we were looking for fresh faces and mostly those who had not acted in movies before,” he said.
They also spared no expenses in their efforts to cast lookalikes of celebrities from the 1990s era.
Teh said that their lookalike talents were sourced from different countries.
“A-mei is from Taiwan, Andy Lau is from China, Obama is from Indonesia, Jay Chou is from Hong Kong, and Yoo Jae Suk is from Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
Teh also revealed that the Malaysian remake almost got slapped with an 18-rating, on top of its 13 cuts.
After the filmmakers submitted an appeal to the Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF), the movie eventually ended up with a P13 rating and one censored scene.
The cut involved a three second-long kissing scene between Fang and Koh.
However, another kissing scene between Fang and Hoon remained intact. The reason given for the cut was that the first kissing scene was non-consensual.
Besides Malaysia, the movie is also slated to open in Singapore on March 30, and in Taiwan in April, while a Hong Kong release is still being negotiated.