Ronny Yu was born in Hong Kong in 1950. He contracted polio in childhood and his being forced to deal with inhibitions in movement fostered in him a life-long determination to overcome odds. After completing secondary school in the United Kingdom, he went to the U.S., studying business administration at Ohio University and film at University of Southern California. He worked at the American Broadcasting Company as production assistant before returning to Hong Kong to join the film industry, serving as producer on Jumping Ash (1976) and later forming a production company with director Yim Ho and others.
Yu made his directorial debut with The Servants (1979, codirected with Philip Chan), which was a commercial success, taking the top spot at the box office and putting him among the ranks of the influential Hong Kong New Wave.
Into the 1980s, Yu boldly experimented with different genres. The supernatural thrillers The Trail (1983) and The Occupant (1984) set the tone for the horror films he later made in Hollywood. His 1993 film The Bride With White Hair was his most celebrated work, which won the Best Adapted Screenplay at the 30th Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan in 1993 as well as the Best Cinematography Award at the 13th Hong Kong Film Awards in 1994. It is also hailed a cult classic by many Western critics and fans.
Yu may not be prolific as a director, especially in Hong Kong terms, but most of his films had enjoyed regards. His talents were recognized in Hollywood, leading to his directing the America film Warriors of Virtue (1997). Though not a big hit, the film paved the way for Yu’s Hollywood career. He specialized in horror films such as Bride of Chucky (1998) and Freddy vs Jason (2003) and was sometimes considered King of Horror. Freddy vs Jason grossed US$36.4 million on its opening weekend to take the top spot on the North American box office chart. His distinctive personal style and adeptness at creating suspense won him legions of fans in the West as well as garnering awards at numerous fantasy film festivals in Europe and the United States.
Taking a break from Hollywood, he directed Fearless (2006) in Hong Kong. Based on the life of martial-arts legend Huo Yuan-jia, it was Jet Li’s final martial arts film, which showcased Li’s acting skills as well as his action prowess. Li was named Best Actor at the 13th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards and the film was one of the Society’s recommended films. Furthermore, Li was nominated for Best Actor at the 26th Hong Kong Film Awards In 2006 and the 2nd Asian Film Awards in 2008.
Saving General Yang (2013), made at the invitation of producer Raymond Wong Pak-ming, was released in both China and North America. Based on the legendary generals of the Yang family, the film took inspiration from serial comics and novels to illustrate the ideas of loyalty, fidelity and commitment to the family rather than a straight-forward retelling of historical facts. Saving General Yang was chosen as the closing film at the 15th Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy in 2013.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||Saving General Yang|
||Freddy vs. Jason|
||The 51st State|
||Bride of Chucky|
||Warriors of Virtue|
||The Phantom Lover|
||The Bride with White Hair|
||Shogun and Little Kitchen|
||The Great Pretenders|
||Bless This House|
||Legacy of Rage|
||Postman Strikes Back|
||The Servant||CHAN Philip|
||The Servants||CHAN Philip|