$20 mil project to preem in Asia next summer
HONG KONG — After a year of management uncertainty, 12 script drafts and a change in location from Europe to Asia, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” star Michelle Yeoh’s next pic, “The Touch,” begins shooting in Tibet next month.
A male co-star is now in place for the contemporary romantic action-adventure: Miramax, pic’s U.S. distributor, helped co-producer Yeoh land Ben Chaplin (“Lost Souls,” “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”).
The script’s final polish came courtesy of “Ronin” scribe J.D. Zeik. The $20 million pic is expected to wrap in January, and premiere in Asia next summer. U.S. release is yet to be determined. Oscar-winning cinematographer Peter Pau will helm.
All straightforward stuff, and that’s the way Yeoh’s shingle, Mythical Films, wants it after much behind-the-scenes action.
Last week, Media Asia, Mythical’s co-production partner, announced CEO Thomas Chung had left the company.
The rising budget for “The Touch” is about 10 times that of some other Media Asia productions, and Chung’s single-minded focus on it was thought to have troubled other shareholders.
Chung — who still won’t comment on his departure — is co-producing “The Touch,” but Media Asia’s involvement in the film remains unclear.
“Good things take time,” Chung said. “Michelle and I have secured all the necessary financing to start the project. In due course, I will talk about myself. At the moment I’m focused on ‘The Touch.’ ”
Chung and Yeoh already have their eyes on their next co-production: a live-action version of “Mulan,” with Yeoh starring as the title character.