June 23, 2024

Jack Neo, for two decades Singapore’s most commercially successful filmmaker, is to direct and produce “Money No Enough 3,” a second sequel to his oldest film franchise.

The film is the first project from HiJack Pictures, the joint venture outfit between distributor-producer Clover Films and Neo’s J Team productions that was announced last year. Neo has either directed or starred in nine of the all-time top ten local movies in Singapore.

“Money No Enough 3” will reunite the three stars of the original movie, Mark Lee, Henry Thia and Neo himself. It is a thematic sequel about the financial issues and problems faced by Singaporeans, both old and young.

The production budget is set at $2 million (S$2.8 million) to be financed by HiJack and mm2 Entertainment. Production will start imminently with a targeted completion in early 2024, in time for the Lunar New Year holiday season.

“Geylang” director Boi Kwong is set as producer. Neo’s regular collaborator Ivan Ho (“Ah Boys to Men 4,” “Long, Long Time Ago”) is scriptwriter and executive director.

The screenplay recounts the story of ‘young seniors’ Ah Hui, Ah Qiang and Ah Huang, who have been lifelong friends, and each face their own family and financial problems. According to a synopsis provided to Variety: “In their attempt to join forces and support each another, their grand plan falls apart when the younger generation challenges the beliefs and value systems of the trio. Ah Huang’s mounting debts drive him to desperate measures. He borrows money from Ah Qiang and Ah Hui and builds illegal businesses that eventually prosper. However, his greed gets the better of him and he refuses to return any borrowed money from his trusting friends. Amidst his financial success, one of his businesses collapses, impacting not only his own family but also families of his two friends. Can the three friends and their families ever find a way to reconcile? Is money really the solution to everything?”

“I have always felt that the first ‘Money No Enough’ was the most important movie in the history of Singapore. The mind-boggling SGD5.8 million box office and almost one million admissions it achieved in 1998 gave hope to local filmmakers that it was possible to have a home-made blockbuster and a thriving movie industry here. Subsequently, Jack went on to deliver many great box-office hits and franchises in ‘I Not Stupid,’ ‘Ah Boys to Men,’ ‘Homerun’ and more,” said Lim Teck, director at Clover Films.

The first ‘Money No Enough’ was directed by Tay Teck Lock, written by Neo and starred Neo, Lee and Thia. “Money No Enough 2,” which was directed and co-written by Neo, was released ten years after the first movie and was a thematic sequel with no story link to the first movie. It went on to collect almost SGD5million at the box office in 2008.

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