OTT platform Viu has partnered up with Media Prima to produce the Asian remake of popular crime drama TV series “The Bridge” starring Malaysian award-winning actor Bront Palarae and Singaporean award-winning actress Rebecca Lim.
The remake is based on the successful Scandinavian noir crime series of the same name which spawned various adaptations including British-French adaptation, “The Tunnel” (2013), starring Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy; an American remake, “The Bridge” (2013–2014), starring Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir; and a Russian remake “The Bridge” (2018), starring Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė and Mikhail Porechenkov.
The Asian version of “The Bridge” will be the title’s latest adaptation with direction from Singapore-based Malaysian TJ Lee and another Malaysian director Jason Chong. Like all versions of “The Bridge”, the basic premise is more or less similar, involving 2 neighbouring countries, a male and a female detectives, and a mysterious dead body.
The official synopsis for Malaysia-Singapore’s version of “The Bridge” is as follow:-
“The lights go out over the second link bridge between Malaysia and Singapore and when they come back on, a body is found exactly halfway between the two countries – split in half and made up of two different women. 2 detectives from each country, Megat (Bront Palarae) and Serena (Rebecca Lim), are assigned to investigate the double murder. The pair couldn’t be more different – Singaporean Serena is young and brilliant but socially-awkward, a stickler for rules and a general pain-in-the-butt. Malaysian Megat is an experienced, impulsive go-with-the-gut type who oozes charm. They soon realise that they are forced to work together on this seemingly political and highly complex case.”
Also featuring Cheryl Samad, Gavin Yap and Tony Eusoff, “The Bridge” will consist of 10 episodes, 60 minutes in length, which is slated to air on NTV7 and Viu platform on 26th November 2018, 10pm, every Monday and Tuesday.
But before the series debuts, Hype Malaysia is here to unveil some exclusives regarding the Asian remake of “The Bridge” and how is it different from all the over versions.
1. The story
Like every other versions of “The Bridge”, the story is pretty much the same as it typically involves 2 countries, 2 cultures, and 2 individuals with different personalities. What is special about the Malaysian-Singaporean version is that it incorporates Asian culture into the plot and explore common social issues found in Southeast Asia, making it more relatable to the people of the region.
2. The characters
All the formats of “The Bridge” features a male and a female detectives with contrasting personalities who need to put their differences aside and work together to solve the case. While the 2 characters are pretty much similar across all versions, Rebecca and Bront try to incorporate their own spin and interpretation of the characters.
Also, since the 2 characters basically represent their own respective countries, they tend to poke fun at each other like how Malaysia and Singapore usually do. But according to the cast, it was all for fun and nothing harmful.
3. The chemistry
This will be the 1st time Rebecca and Bront work together. Though Rebecca often shoots in Malaysia, she has never worked on a Singaporean and Malaysian co-production. Meanwhile, Bront admitted that this is his 1st time working on a local production series since 2012. Despite working with each other for the 1st time, the 2 actors have no problem getting along thanks to their professionalism, and that applies to the directors as well.
4. The directors
TJ Lee and Jason Chong also agreed that working with the cast and also each other became very easy as all of the production members are very professional. Even though the duo directed each episode separately, they have many meetings and discussion together to ensure that they are on the same page and heading towards the same objective. Also, this project marks the 2nd time for TJ to work with Rebecca and the 4th time that Jason work with Bront.
5. The shooting
According to the production team, the series has so far only completed 20% and is expected to wrap up by end of this year or early next year. 70% of the shoots are done in Malaysia as the country has more things to offer in terms of settings and venues, while the rest of the shoots are completed in Singapore. The series will feature mostly Malay and English languages, and little bit Chinese.
6. The challenges
For Bront, his biggest challenge thus far would be the hot weather in Malaysia as his character requires him to wear a thick jacket and he always ends up sweating buckets. “I started to smell like my own socks!” Bront exclaimed.
Meanwhile, Rebecca’s biggest challenge is her fight scenes which has left her with quite a lot of bruises on her arms and legs. Despite having a sports background, Rebecca is not familiar with martial arts. Furthermore, this is the 1st time she is portraying such an active character. “For the past few years, I’ve been playing a lot of goody 2 shoes and very sweet kind of roles. So getting to play something more dark and gritty which include a lot of physical actions is very rare for me.”
7. The casting
For the cast and directors, jumping on board this project seems like the most natural thing to do as it is adapted from a very popular series with various other versions. It also has very interesting scripts and plot-lines that are not common in both Malaysia and Singapore. The directors revealed that though there were several talents they have in mind for the roles, Bront and Rebecca were the top contenders from Malaysia and Singapore on their list.
For Rebecca, it has been 8 years since she worked with TJ. Her last project was “The Pupil” which granted her Best Actress at 15th Asian Television Awards. Since then, Rebecca has always wanted to work with TJ again, so when he approached her for “The Bridge”, she couldn’t say no. For Bront, it has been awhile since he worked in a local production, and has been looking for projects with interesting materials. When “The Bridge” came along, he was intrigued by the interesting pitch and immediately jumped on board.
“The Bridge” is apart of Viu Malaysian Originals which also include 2 other original series “Salon” and “Jibril”.