Two of martial arts lore's greatest heroes team up against the Qing Dynasty in Heroes Two, the first film in Chang Cheh's famed shaolin cycle.
Filmmakers, by and large, seem to favor Fang Shi-yu as a protagonist, as opposed to Hung Hsi-kuan. I can't say for certain how far back Fang's cinematic history goes, between a lack of adequate information and the possibility of lost films we don't even know about. However, there were movies about him as early as 1938, starring Sun-ma Si-tsang. Sek Yen-tsi depicted him in a series of films that ran for several decades, beginning in 1948, and Hung Hsi-kuan was a supporting character in several of these, each time portrayed by a different actor. Meng Fei depicted Fang several times in low-budget Taiwanese movies, and famed Shaw Bros. star Alexander Fu Sheng - more on him in just a bit - would go on to portray him numerous times in later Shaw Bros. movies. Still, Hung Hsi-kuan's has had his time to shine here and there. In addition to being a supporting character in some of the previous Fang Shi-yu movies I mentioned, Hung had his own television series, The Kung Fu Master (1994), in which he was portrayed by Donnie Yen. Jet Li has not only played Fang in Fong Sai-yuk and its sequel (both in 1993), but also played Hung Hsi-kuan in Wong Jing's The New Legend of Shaolin (1994) - which seems more of a Lone Wolf & Cub ripoff than anything else.
WARNING: Here be spoilers! Read further at your own risk!
The Ming Dynasty has fallen to the Manchus, and the Shaolin temples have fallen as well. However, Hung Hsi-kuan (Chen Kuan-tai), a famed rebel, manages to escape the Qing forces. General Che Kang (Zhu Mu) is determined to see him dead, as is his top henchman, the brutal Lord Teh Hsiang (Wong Ching). Fortunately for our hero, Hung is more than capable of returning the favor to any solider that gets in his way, leaving an impressive body count in his wake. Another shaolin loyalist, the impulsive Fang Shi-yu (Alexander Fu Sheng), is also on the run, and encounters one of Che's henchmen, Mai Hsin (Feng Yi). Mai plays it smart and tells Fang that Hung is a murderous bandit, and asks for his help in capturing him. Fang agrees, and Fang and Hung meet in battle, with Hung being captured thanks to some backstabbing. When Fang leans the truth, he must regain the trust of his fellow rebels and rescue Hung from Che Kang's clutches - and small army of goons.