Fantasy - Development 2022

Shanghai, 1920ies. A learned scholar discovers a word that hypnotizes people when they read it. Realizing its power, he sets out to change the world for the better via post-hypnotic suggestion. But things go terribly wrong, he becomes as a circus hypnosis act and worse, but there is hope in the end.

    • Year of production
    • 2022
    • Genres
    • Fantasy, Drama, Black comedy
    • Countries
    • CHINA
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 3 - 5 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Karl HAUPT
    • Writer(s)
    • Karl HAUPT
    • Producer(s)
    • Karl HAUPT
    • Synopsis
    • Shanghai, 1920ies. Professor LI PIN discovers a word that hypnotizes anyone who reads it. He tests the word on his assistant, HATMAN; Li Pin can plant any post-hypnotic suggestion into his subconscious mind.
      They insert the word into the local newspaper, thus hypnotizing people reading their newspapers. Li Pin sees the word's power, he decides to use it to do good.
      Li Pin and Hatman try a few ways to hypnotize people into being good, but it doesn't work as they planned. Also, they are robbed and are suddenly destitute.
      To survive they join a circus side show as a hypnosis act. Li Pin paints the word on a circus wagon side, which is also the stage backdrop, and covers it with a tarp. Hatman lifts the tarp during Li Pin's act, hypnotizing the crowd. Li Pin then releases them with the post-hypnotic suggestion to do good and to be happy.
      The sideshow act is hugely successful, until a young member of the troupe, MAI MEI, runs off. Hatman searches for her, forgetting to lift the tarp. Without the hypnotic word, Li Pin is exposed as a fraud; the angry crowd ransacks the circus, setting it aflame.
      The sideshow troupe flees, but they want to continue the word's mission. They agree to hypnotize two armies embroiled in a stand-off and give them the post-hypnotic suggestion to stop fighting.
      They drive the circus wagon between the armies, hypnotizing one army with the word on the one wagon side. They plan to turn around then and hypnotize the other side, but the wagon gets stuck. The hypnotized side is massacred horribly.
      The circus wagon is shot into flames as the troupe escapes; inside is Li Pin, gravely wounded, but he hypnotizes Mai Mei before he passes out. He orders her to carry on the mission –but to do it her way.
      Li Pin survives, years later he returns to his college where he offers the word to the new professor who had replaced him. This professor wonders why Li Pin wasn't hypnotized by the word himself, but by holding a mirror to the word, Li Pin sees it reversed and is hypnotized – and dies.
      Years later on a arena stage is Mai Mei, now a famous pop singer, singing a song of love and peace, the huge audience is enthralled, hypnotized by her as she tries to fulfill her mission in her own way.
    • Partners & financing
    • 2 interested Chinese co-producers, 3 interested investors
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Aug 01, 2022
    • End of shooting
    • Oct 01, 2022