Movie Eye gazes at ‘Shanghai’

China-Japan co-production to star Zhao and Motoki

HONG KONG — Production gets underway this month on “The Longest Night In Shanghai,” a rare Sino-Japanese co-production, albeit the fourth movie with China for Japan’s Movie Eye Entertainment.

Picture about two lonely souls who manage to overcome the language barrier to strike up an unusual relationship, is helmed by Zhang Yibai, responsible for cult hit Spring Subway” and Movie Eye’s second Chinese feature “About Love.”

Star billings go to “Shaolin Soccer”‘s Vicki Zhao and Masahiro Motoki (“Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t”), ahead of a gutsy cast of up and comers including Nishida Naomi, Tsukamoto Takashi, Taiwan’s Dylan Kuo and Hong Kong’s Sam Lee.

Picture is a presentation by Movie Eye, Avex Entertainment, Yahoo! Japan and Megadia Entertainment, a Beijing-based TV and film shingle. Producer is Movie Eye’s founder Taku Ushiyama.

“Budget and scale have increased as we have become more involved with China,” Ushiyama said. “On our first Chinese film ‘Last Love, First Love’ most of the cast and crew were Japanese. Now we have stepped up and all the main crew elements are from China with the exception of costume, hair and music.” Coin for the $5 million budget is chiefly sourced from Japan.

Delivery is skedded for December this year with a Japanese release through Movie Eye’s relationship with Shochiku penciled in for May 2007.

Movie Eye exec Shirley Huang will handle int’l sales on “Shanghai,” Shinya Tsukamoto-helmed action-thriller “Nightmare Detective” and “The Night Time Picnic.”

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