7 Mar – For many years, actor-director Jack Neo's productions have been doubted by both movie critics and cinemagoers but the overwhelming success of military-themed drama "Ah Boys To Men" series have erased such doubts, marking a huge comeback in the Singaporean film icon's 33-year filming career and recently he announced that his team will give the box office hit another sequel.
"Many people especially the media are asking me about making another instalment for "Ah Boys To Men". Now I officially announce that we will bring you episode three for the movie," said Neo during the promotional tour of "Ah Boys To Men: Part 2" in Kuala Lumpur.
He added, "We are currently preparing for the shoot. For your information, there's a chance that my old partners Mark Lee ("Ah Long Pte Ltd") and Henry Thia ("Money No Enough 2") will join the cast in the sequel. We'll let you know about it."
The "We Not Naughty" director was thrilled to see the first two episodes of "Ah Boys To Men" breaking Singapore's box office records with RM 1.8 million grosses in Malaysia and he hoped that there will be a similar result in Malaysia with the sequel.
"Ah Boys To Men: Part 2" follows Ken who returns to Tekong Island for his Basic Military Training (BMT) after he realizes that his mistakes eventually got him into hospital and his father's car accident. However, Ken's will to change does not extend to his gang members Lobang, Ip Man and Ismail.
Some have said that Neo is attempting to change his comedic directing style after seeing the serious elements in "Ah Boys To Men: Part 2", but Neo denied this.
"You know, comedy has always been my trademark. I came out from the comedian field. It's just not my style and it does not feel right for not including laughing gigs in my films," said the 57-year-old.
"Ah Boys To Men: Part 2" stars Joshua Tan, Wang Wei Liang, Noah Yap, Tosh Zhang, Maxi Lim, Richard Low and Irene Ang.
Apart from film productions, Neo is planning to lead his young cast including Wang, Zhang and Maxi into the music scene by forming a boy group for them.
Neo said, "These young men have shot to fame through this film. Everyone is crazy about them these days. Their popularity is way beyond our expectations, so we decided not to miss this opportunity and we will make them into a band called Section 2, the same name as their army group in the movie."
While the public expected Neo and the cast of "Ah Boys To Men: Part 2" to celebrate their box office success with the first movie by swimming nude, they eventually chose to involve themselves in charity-related events instead.
"The authorities from most of the countries that we approached did not allow us to swim naked. Therefore, we have given up this idea. To celebrate our success, we decided to do some charities for the orphanage and to those who are in need," said the director who attended a heart-warming dinner with local disabled community from Beautiful Gate Foundation in Genting Highlands.
The less-privileged guests were also invited to the gala premiere of "Ah Boys To Men: Part 2" alongside local artists like Henley Hii, Auguste Kwan, Chris Tong, Vivian Cai, Joseph N and Koe Yeet.
"Ah Boys To Men: Part 2" hits theatres in Malaysia on 14 March 2013.