David Twohy, who directed “Riddick” and scripted “The Fugitive,” is to write and direct “Ice Moon Rising,” a major sci-fi movie that is set to be a U.S.-China co-production.
The film which could have a budget in the region of $50 million is being produced by Das Films’ Sriram Das and by experienced Greater China producer Steve Chicorel.
The pair are also in advanced preparations for another China-U.S. venture “Money Plane,” with David Hackl (“Saw V,” “Life on the Line”) to direct.
“Ice Moon Rising” is set in space when a Chinese and American task force venture to Jupiter’s moon Europa to awaken an astronaut from a cryogenic stasis, some 24 years after he was attacked by alien creatures in Europa’s sub-glacial seas. Awake, he then has to be reunited with his wife and a daughter he has never met.
Das, who recently produced “November Man,” and India-set “Heartbeats,” is currently evaluating finance and casting options in China. “We are looking for meaningful co-production partners,” Das said. Production is set for the end of the year, with a significant portion of the shoot most likely heading either for the U.K or Canada. Sales agents will likely also be locked down before Cannes.
“It is very unusual to find a film of this genre which has been certified and approved by China Film Co-Production Corporation, and which has a female Chinese lead character, not a supporting role,” said Chicorel.
A significant number of the space vehicles and equipment has been designed by a team of former NASA scientists. “The science will be very real and not overly futuristic. The sci-fi should not distract from the very human story,” Das said.
Likely to shoot from September on a $25 million budget, “Money Plane,” is an air-to-air heist movie in which Chinese Interpol forces team with FBI agents from the U.S. to catch a high-tech multi-ethnic gang. Script is by Kraig X. Wenman.
The film will likely be structured as a China-Australia-Canada and shoot in Australia and China’s island province of Hainan.
The Chinese partner is the newly formed Beijing Wudi Pictures. International sales are handled by Greenlight International.