The Overheard trilogy finally wraps a third instalment that no longer deals with cops and mobsters but real estate and property trading.

Overheard 3 zooms in on a controversial subject surrounding a parcel of land earmarked for development but has not seen any progress for 40 years due to historical legacy issues.

Directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, Overheard 3 reunites the original cast of Sean Lau, Louis Koo and Daniel Wu, but has them playing different roles. The Hong Kong-China crime thriller also cast other heavyweights like Zhou Xun, Michelle Ye, Gordon Lam and Ng Man-Tat.

Koo plays Law, a chauffeur for tycoon Luk (Kenneth Tsang), who ends up in prison for causing the death of a major landowner in a car accident.

When Law is released five years later, his sworn brother Keung (Sean Lau) has his own agenda as Luk’s right-hand man. So Law recruits the assistance of his cell-mate and computer whiz Joe (Daniel Wu) for another wiretapping spree.

In a phone interview from Hong Kong last week, directors Mak and Chong said that the third instalment of their Overheard franchise continues along its tragic trajectory for Koo’s character because that was a true reflection of the issues people have to deal with.

Addressing doubts about having a commercial movie focus on such a serious topic as Hong Kong’s insider property trading, Chong replied: “Initially, we had our concerns too. But a recent screening in China confirmed our thoughts on the issue. Viewers told us that they were having similar problems on the mainland, so they totally understand.”

Reuniting the trio of Lau, Koo and Wu made work easier, said Mak.

“We gradually become more familiar with each other. In Overheard (2009), the focus was on the movie, so we did not have much to say to each other. By Overheard 2 (2011), we had all become friends. Now, Sean Lau has transformed from a quiet fellow to a talkative one. Louis Koo continues to be the cool guy, but we found him to be a very professional chap,” shared Mak.

Chong revealed that they had developed an easy work synergy.

“In Overheard, Sean Lau did not speak much. In Overheard 2, I don’t know why he suddenly had lots to say. That meant I also had a lot of explaining to do. Then, in Overheard 3, he was still very chatty. But I didn’t have to tell him much – he could easily grasp what I had in mind. It was the same for the others. They understood me better when we made the third movie,” added Chong.

The biggest headache for director Chong was deciding how each character in the movie should look.

“Sparks actually flew when we were discussing the sort of hairstyles to use for each of the characters; it was as if we were preparing to stage a concert!” he concluded.

Overheard 3 opens in local cinemas nationwide today.