Hong Kong novelist and screenwriter Ni Kuang, who has written some 300 screenplays including The one-armed swordsman and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, is dead. According to local media, he died on Sunday at the age of 87.
Tenky Tin Kai-man, actor and spokesperson for the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers, confirmed Ni’s death at the South China Morning Post. The cause of death was believed to be skin cancer.
Hailed as a giant of the Chinese literary world, Ni rose to fame with the New Adventures of Wisely series first published in a Chinese daily Mingpao in 1963. He specializes in martial arts, wuxia and science fiction.
From 1965 Ni began writing screenplays, often working for the Shaw Brothers. His credits include 1967 The one-armed swordsman; 1975 superhero movie Infra-Man; and 1978 The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Enter the Fat Dragon (the latter directed by and starring Sammo Hung); along with hundreds of others.
He is also widely associated with Bruce Lee stars. the big boss and fist of fury. Although eventual writing credit on 1971 the big boss went to director Lo Wei, Ni created the character of Cheng Chao-an played by Lee in his first major role. Similarly, Lo is credited with the 1972s fist of fury which also starred Lee as Ni creation Chen Zhen, a character that would go on to be played by actors such as Jet Li and Donnie Yen.
Ni wrote some 140 wisely novels about a man who encounters strange creatures and aliens on futuristic adventures around the world. The stories have been adapted into films, television series, radio dramas and comic books.
Ni won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2012 and the Jubilee Honor Award from the Hong Kong Screenwriters’ Guild in 2018.
Ni was born in Shanghai in 1935 and smuggled into Hong Kong in 1957; he never returned to the mainland.