A lot of reports suggested this work shares similar DNA with Top Gun: Maverick (including Hollywood Reporter). However, I suspect the producers pulled it to edit the story so that it’s not in verbatim. Oscar Wilde said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness,” and I have no problems with this direction.
I’m sure the digital special effects were an enormous concern too. According to Radii.co, the feature was delayed to fix those sequences. That is, the producers want those aerial moments look as authentic as possible. This sequences we’re shown shows the limits China’s latest technological advance can soar, and yes, I have Van Halen’s song “Dreams” playing in my head when watching the movie trailer.
Anyone who followed Yibo’s career knows he’s got talent. In 2014, he was a member of the South Korean-Chinese boy band Uniq. Since shifting gears to become an actor and even a motorcycle racer, shows nothing can stop him from becoming a beloved face of Chinese entertainment.
The latter skill might also prove handy in Born to Fly. It depends on how much of Tom Cruise’s movie gets copied. Some of the most iconic moments included Maverick on his Kawasaki (original movie) with the girl, or with his Ninja 900R. Whether Yibo will ride that or his own, the trailers aren’t telling. Instead, what we learn about is China’s lack of superiority in dominating the skies. They haven’t fully constructed the J-20, and it’s safe to say part of the film will involve revealing some aspects of the design get debated. If it’s to protect China’s borders against a foreign invader from across the sea, it better be up to snuff!
According to IMDB, the top billing lists Wang Yibo as Yu Lei, Jun Hu as Ting Zhang, and Yosh Yu as Fang Deng. It’s produced in coooperation with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and the writer/director is Liu Xiaoshi, who is making his cinematic debut. Since he’s worked with the military making videos for them, his experience has no doubt been an asset. At the same time, he may have bitten more than he can chew, hence the delay. Not only does he have to satisfy the censors but also his former bosses.
Zhou Dongyu (best known for Under the Hawthorn Tree) may be the love interest in this film. Unfortunately, the teaser doesn’t say much about the relationships between these main characters, and we’re left guessing save for what’s revealed in the music video. In both works, what we see are a lot of planes doing some high speed manoeuvres.
As for when this movie will play internationally, it’s safe to say Well GO USA will distribute. They haven’t listed this movie yet, because I’m sure negotiations still have to be made with the Chinese studios heads and producers. As for what their plans are to get Born to Fly over to other countries sooner than later, we have to wait for next month for newsletter updates.
Thankfully, we have the music video to enjoy while waiting for America-side information. It was released a while back. This song by Wang Yibo is certainly heartfelt, and the video offers a glimpse of one subplot concerning fellow pilots. A past mission resulted in the death of a comrade, but it’s hard to tell whether they’re related.
Wang Yibo—Born to Fly Theme Song “Cloud” 王一博长空之王《云端》