The companies signed the deal Friday at the Beijing International Film Festival with a traditional hand-printing ceremony.
Signatories were La Peikang, president of China Film Group Corp. and Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures. Pic will be produced by Par and Sino partners Yuehua Entertainment, Phoenix Entertainment and Huahua Film & Media Culture.
The participants emphasized the significance of the first-time partnership between Par and Chinese film industry orgs. Deal was billed in a news announcement as an “important milestone in the history of cross-border cooperation in the U.S. and Chinese film industry.”
Pic is expected to be directed by Rob Cohen, helmer of the first “Fast and Furious” movie, and will feature a mix of Hollywood and Chinese stars. The focus on the famed 13th-century Italian explorer, known for his travels in China and other parts of Asia, was designed to have maximum appeal to moviegoers in China and other global markets.
“ ‘Marco Polo’ is an extremely exciting venture for the studio,” Moore said. “Paramount believes ‘Marco Polo’ will represent the highest production and artistic caliber of the Chinese film industry and will attract the attention of global viewers.”
Shooting will begin in October. It’s expected to lense in China but the specific plans for the production could not be confirmed.
The Paramount pic has no connection with the “Marco Polo” TV adventure series now in production at the Weinstein Co. for Netflix.