Sung Kang Takes Detour to Direct Horror Comedy Shaky Shivers for AFM – The Hollywood Reporter
Audiences who know Sung Kang from Fast and Furious the movies may not be expecting him to turn to a low-budget horror-comedy for his directorial debut. But at the height of COVID in 2020, the actor, who plays Han in the Quick films, spent five weeks in a closed scout camp Trembling chillsa mash of 90s freaks that is an ode to the kinds of 80s movies he grew up with.
“I didn’t want to do anything really heavy,” Kang says. “I think a lot of people expected, because of my association with those big blockbuster action movies, that I would do an action movie.”
Now Kang is offering the project to AFM this week.
Trembling chills centers on two ice cream shop workers (played by Brooke Markham and VyVy Nguyen) stranded in an abandoned camp, where a magical spell book brings them into contact with a number of classic movie creatures.
by Kang Trembling chills The journey began when he got wind that his longtime creative partner, Aaron Strongoni, had been quietly writing a script over the weekend with scribe Andrew McAllister. The duo were inspired after making a documentary about special effects maestro Gabriel Bartalos, who supported Trembling chills and even offered to lend the screenwriters some of his monstrous creations for the project.
After Kang read the script, he put his hat on in the ring to direct. Or as he humbly puts it, “I pleaded”.
It took a year to secure the funding and they were finally getting ready to film when COVID hit the United States in earnest in March 2020.
“The week of lockdown, we were doing stalled rehearsals,” Kang says, when producers pulled him aside to tell him the film was shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The film just evaporated,” explains the filmmaker.
But the team did not give up. A few months later they regrouped and found a new location and a few months later they were shooting cameras, largely with a new crew, at a camp north of Los Angeles. The filmmaker remembers a summer camp atmosphere on the set.
Some of the signature shots had to be captured in just a few hours due to technical issues that seemed to arise when filming the creatures.
“God bless Gabe Bartalos, because he should have had at least a full day for every creature effect. But we would get there and say, “Oh, we have two hours to get it right,” Kang recalled. “He rushes in with his team and we’re ready to shoot, but then there’s an equipment malfunction.”
Kang has had a storied career that has included the public campaigning for his return to The fast and the furious franchise after his character’s death in 2006 Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. He came back for F9 (2021) and completed work on x fast and joined the star wars galaxy for this year Obi Wan Kenobi.
The actor, 50, found solace in filming Trembling chills at this point in her life, it doesn’t matter what things could go wrong on a film set.
“Even when things get crazy and department heads are stressed, I always step back and say, ‘You know what, this is just a movie,'” Kang says, adding that he drew its strength in “all our philosophy as dreamers. all together, spending five weeks together in a summer camp.
Jackrabbit Media and Cyfuno Ventures co-represent national sales for Trembling chills, with. Jackrabbit handles all international sales. Kang is producing through his Raison D’être banner, with Luci Kim through Luka Productions and Jean Shim’s company Aerie On Elms. Nina Yang Bongiovi is an executive producer through AUM.
This story first appeared in the November 3 daily issue of The Hollywood Reporter at the American Film Market.