Who doesn’t need a hero these days? Ngô Thanh Vân, an A-list Vietnamese actress and producer, believes we all do, and so she took to Facebook earlier this week and announced that her company Studio 68 is going to produce Vietnam’s very first superhero movie, Vinaman. The film is to hit the screen sometime next year and according to Vân, the eponymous superhero will embody “the spirit and heart of the Vietnamese people.”
“Young people need a hero. And Vietnam needs a representative for its people, culture and kindness,” Vân declares in her Facebook post. She goes on to explain that she got the idea for the movie when she saw a photo of COVID-19 volunteers sitting with their lunch boxes on mats outside a hospital building. The image made her realize how such people rarely receive the recognition they deserve, and she decided to try and change the narrative with her next movie by setting an unsung hero as a role model for young people.
Vân adds that she understands the risks involved in producing a first-ever Vietnamese superhero movie, but says she isn’t daunted by the challenge. Ever since Vân founded Studio 68, her team has produced a number of successful movies such as Hai Phượng (Furie) or Cô Ba Sài Gòn (The Tailor), and the company has already started casting for the new feature film – including for the role of the main character. The casting call specifies that the eventual Vinaman needs no previous experience in acting but has to be, or look, 19 to 25 years of age.
The superhero’s name features the prefix “Vina”, commonly used as a shortened version of Việt Nam, indicating Vinaman’s strong Vietnamese identity. At this stage, however, little is known about Vinaman’s superpowers or the film’s actual plot – other than the hero’s symbol, published by Ngô Thanh Vân on Facebook. According to the producers, the logo is intended as “a harmonious combination of modern elements and ethnic traditional culture” and it expresses “the spirit of Vietnam.” Here’s the image – published by the courtesy of Studio 68, Ngô Thanh Vân and Vinaman himself: