China’s Huace Signs Deal With Michael Uslan, $300 Million Pact With Arclight

Huace Group, one of China’s leading studios, has struck a pact with Los Angeles- and Sydney-based Arclight Films to produce a slate of films through a new joint venture company.

Separately, Huace has signed a four film development deal with Hollywood producer Michael Uslan (“Batman”).

Arclight and Huace are to set up Aurora Alliance Films, which will develop, finance and produce a slate of “high concept” international co-productions and deliver three films per year. The companies said that the first pictures under the new banner have all secured Hollywood directing talent.

James McTeigue is in advanced talks to direct an untitled Chinese co-production being produced by Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road (“Gods of Egypt”). The film is an international action thriller that will shoot in Australia and China, and which Arclight says will be one of the biggest budgeted Chinese productions ever mounted.

Huace and Arclight are also working on “Safecracker,” a crime-action feature written by Paul Staheli, to be directed by Gregor Jordan (“Buffalo Soldiers,” and Heath Ledger films “Two Hands” and “Ned Kelly”).

The two companies are also partnered on the previously announced action thriller “Lights Out” and are in final negotiations to bring on board a major Hollywood director.

“By working together with the Huace Group, we now have a great partner providing a 360-degree view of insight into the Chinese marketplace and to all our coproduction projects, ,” said Gary Hamilton, Arclight MD. “We can fully maximize efficiency in project financing, increase profitability, and achieve overall success at the Chinese box office through Huace’s solid distribution outfit, with the added bonus of Arclight Films and Easternlight rounding out sales and distribution in the US and all over the world.”

In a separate announcement, Huace Pictures revealed that it had signed a development pact with Michael Uslan in action, adventure and animation genres. The plan is to deliver franchise films that can be further expanded into video games, and products with cross-platform distribution. “We will bring elements like mobile gaming and publishing to support brand and franchise in China,” said Uslan after signing the partnership.

Huace has grown quickly to become one of China’s top film and TV producers, with “Two Thumbs Up” and John Woo’s “The Crossing” its best known movies to date. With offices in Beijing, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, it now covers investment and production, new media, advertising development, artist management, and Internet games. Huace also has a significant minority interest in Korean theatrical distributor Next Entertainment World (NEW) and a major stake in the rights company founded by Guo Jingming, creator of the “Tiny Times” online novel and film series.

“The international demand for Chinese films is growing rapidly. It is a critical time for us to learn from Hollywood and make exceptional Chinese movies for global audiences,” said Yifang Zhao, CEO and Founder of Huace.

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