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KUCHING, Oct 7: After its premiere in local cinemas on Thursday (Oct 4), Sarawakian moviegoers should by now be ecstatic that ‘Venom’ — a Marvel anti-hero movie — featured Sibu in its earlier scenes.
Starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock who got infected by the alien Symbiote that turned him into Venom, the movie broke October’s box office record with USD80 million earned from its premiere up to yesterday.
* Warning: Spoilers ahead
The movie’s opening scene started with a LIFE Foundation rocket crashing into a forest. This had caused one of the Symbiotes it carried to be released from one of the canisters.
The forest was supposedly a fictional ‘Hutan Simpanan Borneo’, which was, as per movie, ‘located nearby Sibu’.
Here is the link to the movie trailer by Sony Pictures on Youtube for reference: https://youtu.be/xLCn88bfW1o
As the movie progresses, the Symbiote managed to get hold of a human host in Sibu, who was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) officer played by American-Asian actress Michelle Lee (movie trailer jump to 1:55).
Some of the dialogues were apparently in awkward Malay, supposedly to sound like Sarawakian Malay.
The movie scene then took place supposedly in a village in Sibu, furnished with overwhelming Chinese-style props (movie trailer jump to 2:11).
After all, it wasn’t actually filmed in Sibu but a movie set in Georgia, United States.
Another scene also featured the old Sibu airport (obviously a movie set), before it was renovated prior to 2011.
So there you go, our beloved state Sarawak made another appearance in a Hollywood produced film, which would surely pique the interest of some Western moviegoers who are curious to know where Sibu is.
This, of course, wasn’t the first time Hollywood featured Sarawak as one of its locations in a scene, although with the advancement of CGI nowadays, actors and crew need not be at the actual location anymore.
Hollywood’s first big entry into Sarawak was in 1987 with the filming of ‘Farewell to the King’ by Orion Picture. Another film that featured and was shot in Sarawak was ‘The Sleeping Dictionary’, released in 2003 starring Hugh Dancy and Jessica Alba.
Coming in the next couple of years would be the ‘White Rajah’ — a movie about how Sir James Brooke came to Sarawak and what he went through when he was here in 1840. — DayakDaily