Focus Features Intl. has inked a three-picture production, co-financing and distribution deal with Bill Kong’s Hong Kong-based Edko Films.
Under the pact, Focus and Kong will co-produce Yuen Woo Ping’s “True Legend,” Tian Zhuangzhuang’s “The Warrior and the Wolf” and Roy Chow’s “Murderer.”
Deal cements the long-standing relationship between Focus and Kong, which dates back to Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Focus topper James Schamus co-wrote the martial arts epic with Lee, and exec produced along with Universal co-topper David Linde through their Good Machine banner.
“True Legend,” which is currently lensing, stars Zhao Wenzhuo, Zhou Xun, Michelle Yeoh, Jay Chou, David Carradine and mixed martial arts world champion Cung Le. Pic tells the story of Su, a great warrior betrayed by his adopted brother who kills his father and steals his son, and his subsequent revenge.
Christine To Chi-Long has penned the script with Yuen , a famed martial arts choreographer whose credits include the “Kill Bill” and “Matrix” films, at the helm. Edko is handling Asian sales with FFI handling international sales in all territories outside Asia.
“The Warrior and the Wolf,” based on a novel by Yasushi Inoue, stars Maggie Q, Joe Odagiri and Tou Chung-Hua. Pic follows a disillusioned general of an ancient Chinese army regiment who finds himself stranded in a village populated by a strange clan with mystical connections to wolves. Edko is handling Asian sales and Fortissimo is handling all international sales outside Asia.
“Murderer,” a psychological mystery drama set in Hong Kong, stars actor-singer Aaron Kwok as a detective seemingly framed for a series of gruesome murders. Helmer Roy Chow also co-wrote the script with Chi-Long. Edko is handling Asian sales on the film.
FFI is also selling international rights on the Bill Kong-produced “Blood: The Last Vampire,” directed by Chris Nahon, about a half-vampire used as part of a covert government agency to hunt and destroy demons in a post-WWII Japan.
Under the stewardship of co-topper Christian Grass, FFI has forged close relationships with some of world cinema’s leading filmmakers including Timur Bekmambetov, Park Chan Wook and the Mexican triumvirate of Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Alfonso Cuaron through their shingle Cha Cha Cha. FFI has also inked multiyear partnerships with Italian shingle Cattleya and German banner UFA Cinema.