The story follows a quest to save an Asian spiritual leader whose rare blood type only has one donor left alive in the fictional war-torn nation of Bandanesia.Michael Biehn as Mike Tremayne
Simon Yam as Lompoc
Phoenix Chou as Deva
Emma Pei as Guang Di
Jennifer Blanc as Jesse
Thomas Siu Hung Ho as Chang
Kenny Lo as Nico
Ridwan Amir as Brando
The teaser trailer was released on March 15, 2010.
After the original film received a very mixed reaction at Cannes, additional footage was added to the film from a promo trailer originally announced as part of a planned sequel, these bookend scenes feature Phoenix Chou's character demonstrating her fighting skills.
Shortly after principal photography was completed by director Michael Biehn, producer Bey Logan took over post-production. Several elements of the movie in post-production, including additional scenes and the re-dubbing of Michael Biehn's voice by another actor, were added or altered from the original direction of the film. The original version of the movie debuted to very poor response at the 2010 Cannes Film Market, and further changes were made to the movie including further changes in story structure and the addition of scenes originally shot as part of a proposed sequel directed by Antony Szeto, shoe-horned into the movie to try to make the film appear more marketable.
As a result of this altered direction in post-production, Michael Biehn has since distanced himself from the movie and no longer considers this movie as his directorial debut.
To call the movie referenced above my directorial debut is a farce. The role of Director includes several aspects of movie making which I had no part in. I was not involved in the casting, (nor did I write the script), I was not involved with editing, sound mixing, colorization, music, ADR, or any other aspect of post production. Also, all of my dialogue in the movie was voice over from another person. The crew was the least experienced and the most unorganized that I've experienced in my 35 years of being involved with movies and I had very little say in both day to day production or the final product. In fact, I had so little to do with the movie that I haven't even seen it, to this day.
Basically, I went over to China to direct and write a movie. Well, I wrote it along with some other people. So, we made the movie over there, but we weren't shooting in Shanghai, we were shooting at a little studio and the crew there was not very experienced at all. They didn't have any experience and I wasn't ready for that. As a result, I had to take on multiple roles and it was very, very hard shooting it.
The actors didn't speak English. They were having to work phonetically at times. They didn't seem to have any money for cast, so we were pulling people off of the crew for roles and stuff like that. So, it was a very, very difficult shoot, but I thought I'd put something in the can that was decent and something I could be proud of.
What happened was... when I left China, the producer (Bey Logan) decided that he was going to cut the movie and he was going to do all of the Post Production and never give me a chance to cut my own movie. I was so busy when I was working on the movie putting in like twelve and fifteen hour days and doing everybody's job for them. I had a couple of people who knew what they were doing, but not very many. So, he took over the movie and he cut it and put the music on and went and did all of the sound... and that's that, really.
He sent me his rough cut which I thought left a lot to be desired. I thought there was a lot better film there than what he cut and what he made, so... I sort of washed my hands of it at that point and said, "Whatever..." He paid me, so I just kind of walked away from it. It was a tough experience because I'd put so much energy, so much time, and so much effort into getting it into Post and... After doing THE VICTIM, I realized that the Post is so important: the cutting and the music and the sound, just the whole deal. That's really where the music is made, really. That's where the movie comes together.
It's like being a quarterback on a football team and playing the first half of the game and you play another good team and you're really struggling, but you have it tied at half-time. Then, you get pulled and some other quarterback comes in and you end up getting beat by forty points. That's kind of how I felt in this situation.
- Michael Biehn
The film eventually received a limited theatrical release in Hong Kong as Shadowguard: The Blood Bond Saga, receiving one of the lowest box office returns for any theatrical release.