Woo to toil on native soil

Helmer pacts for contempo China thriller

Returning to his roots, John Woo has signed to direct and produce an untitled contemporary thriller set in China for Philip Anschutz’s Bristol Bay Prods. and StudioCanal.

Woo will serve as a producer with Terence Chang through their production shingle Lion Rock Prods., with Caroline Macaulay of Lion Rock as exec producer. Don MacPherson (“Jonathan Wild,” “Brighton Rock”) will pen the screenplay.

No start date or cast has been set for the film, which will lense in Beijing and focus on the clash between communism and capitalism and the transformation of China into an economic superpower. Story will center on a visiting American inadvertently caught in a struggle between government officials and the secret underworld fueling China’s new economy.

Woo’s career as a filmmaker began in Hong Kong, where he directed over two dozen films, including crime thrillers “The Killer,” “Hard-Boiled” and “Bullet in the Head.” Bristol Bay exec VP Lenny Kornberg and VP of production Jackie Levine will oversee the project for the shingle. Chang and Macaulay will shepherd at Lion Rock and Ron Halpern will oversee for StudioCanal. 

Bristol Bay was a producer on “Ray,” “Sahara” and “The Game of Their Lives” and is part of Anschutz Film Group along with Walden Media.

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