The popular Chinese animation TV series Calabash Brothers (葫芦兄弟, hú lú xiōng dì) is set to become a live-action film, announced Shanghai Film Group Corporation and Edko Films at a joint press conference in Shanghai on February 29.
Known as "Húluwá" among its many Chinese fans, the original 13-episode series was first broadcast in 1986 and follows the adventures of seven boys with super powers fighting two demonic spirits.
The animation is part of the collective memory of many fans who were born in the 1970s and 80s and they are both excited and anxious at the news.
"No matter how terrible the movie's gonna be, I'm definitely going to watch it," said BanbiTyphoon on the Twitter-like social media Sina Weibo. Another, Duoduo, worried whether "the director could find seven identical brothers for filming."
At the press conference, Bill Kong, president of Hong Kong-based Edko Films, promised that the remake had been decided upon after careful deliberation.
He added that they have opted for live-action rather than high-tech CG animation as part of their efforts to respect the roots of the classic animation.
A calabash is a light-green vine fruit, also known as opo squash or long melon. In the series,seven different-coloured calabashes fall from their stems and magically transform into the brothers.
So far, the animation series has been translated into seven languages.