Village Roadshow and Warner Bros. Fall for China’s ‘Snow Girl’

china film

3D fantasy adventure claims stellar international crew, Li Bingbing and Chen Kun star.

SHANGHAI — Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Warner Bros. Pictures are to co-finance and co-produce 3-D Chinese fantasy film “Zhong Kui: Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal.”

The film is now in production and is produced by Desen International Media. It is set for release in Feb. 2015 in time for a major Chinese New Year outing.

Directed by Zhao Tianyu (“The Law of Attraction”), “Snow Girl” stars Chen Kun (“The Painted Skin,” “Bends”), Li Bingbing (“Transformers 4”,) Winston Chao (“Eat Drink Man Woman,” “The Wedding Banquet”,) Yang Zishan (“So Young”,) Bao Bei-er (“So Young”,) and Jike Junyi (“Outcast”).

The story sees legendary anti-hero Zhong Kui as a young man endowed with mysterious powers, forced into a battle among the realms of Heaven, Earth and Hell in order to save his countrymen and the woman he loves.

Production is by Ann An (“Ip Man 2,” “Tiny Times”) and Oscar-winning cinematographer Peter Pau (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.) Pau also doubles up as cinematographer and visual effects supervisor.

Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Warner Bros. Pictures will have a significant participation in the film’s global revenues, including those earned in Mainland China. Additionally, Village Roadshow Pictures Asia will have distribution rights in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Warner Bros. Pictures will handle distribution in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Other financiers include Beijing Enlight Pictures — as co-financier and and Mainland China co-distributor — actor Chen Kun’s production company K. Pictures and Shenzhen-based Wu’s Entertainment.

The production will make use of Chinese and international crew. They include 3D stereographer Vincent E Toto (“Dredd”), action choreographer Jacky Yeung, production designer Kenneth Mak, costume designer Shirley Chan and editor David Wu.

New Zealand’s Weta Workshop is providing character and set design, while Korean VFX house Macrograph (“Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons”) will produce the visual effects. The film will make extensive use of motion capture technology.

“With an incredible team of international talent both on screen and behind the camera, we’re confident that ‘Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal’ will become a modern classic of Chinese cinema,” said Desen International head An.

Desen is also partnered with the U.S.’ s Paula Wagner on big budget action drama “Flying Tigers.”

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