'70s Singaporean super spy Cleopatra Wong to fight modern-day crime in new TV series

Teng Yong Ping
Lifestyle Editor
Cleopatra Wong, played by Marrie Lee, in the 1970s action film series about the crime-fighting escapades of a Singaporean Interpol agent. (PHOTO: Screenshot from Youtube)

“She purrs like a kitten, makes love like a siren, and fights like a panther” – that was how the movie character of Singaporean Interpol agent Cleopatra Wong was portrayed back in the 1970s. And she may be kicking her way back to the screen soon.

Wong was previously featured in a series of action movies cited by cult director Quentin Tarantino as an influence on him. In her upcoming incarnation for the TV reboot – slated for release in 2020 – the plucky martial arts expert will become a crime-fighter in a present-day setting, Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore has learnt from the producer, Beach House Pictures.

The rights to the character were bought by Beach House, a Singapore-based production company, which is currently developing a TV series based on the action heroine, The Straits Times reported on Tuesday (16 October).

The three Cleopatra Wong movies –They Call Her Cleopatra Wong (1978), Devils’ Angels (1979) and Dynamite Johnson (1979) – were a Singaporean-Philippine co-production and directed by Bobby Suarez.

Responding to queries from Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore on Wednesday via email, Beach House’s head of content and business development, Neal Moore, said, “We want to remain true to the original films so we expect she will continue to be a Singaporean Interpol agent but fighting crime in the present rather than the original 1970s setting.”

Moore added, “The current title is simply Cleopatra Wong as she is the focus of the show, much like Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Jessica Jones.”

Beach House Pictures intends to produce 13 hour-long episodes per season of the series, but Moore said the number of episodes could be as long as the story demands “in the age of on-demand (online) platforms”.

Moore said Beach House could not reveal the names of the series’ directors and writers for now but it is in talks with many potential partners while its producers are keeping their options open for the cast members. Actress Marrie Lee, now 59, played the titular character in the original movie trilogy.

The development process could take six to 12 months, and production would take a minimum of another 12 months, Moore added.

Asked what platforms the show might be broadcast on, Moore said, “We don’t know yet, we’re just excited about the acquisition…we have good relationships with all the major broadcasters and platforms and will begin talks soon.”

Follow Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore on Facebook.