Renny Harlin to Shoot ‘Legend of the Ancient Sword’ for Alibaba

Renny Harlin to Shoot 'Legend of
Amanda Schwab/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

Top action film director Renny Harlin is to make Chinese-language action fantasy film “Legend of the Ancient Sword” as his next picture. Production and Chinese distribution is through Alibaba Pictures Group, the film making arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The film is already in pre-production ahead of principal photography that is scheduled to start in October.

The film is derived from a 3D role playing video game originally developed by Shanghai Aurogon and published in 2010 by Gamebar. A TV series was previously produced.

Alibaba purchased rights to the second game and has plans to turn it into both a TV series and a possible three movie series. Harlin is connected only with the feature movies.

Alibaba Pictures did not disclose the budget but described the film as “substantial by Chinese standards.” It likened the project to the “Harry Potter” franchise.

“This is a big, epic fantasy adventure,” Harlin told Variety. “My ambition is to integrate this Chinese property with Hollywood story telling and visual effects and to introduce new fighting techniques.”

Harlin recently completed the Jackie Chan-starring action adventure “Skiptrace,” which will be released in Chinese theaters on July 22.

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  1. Ben says:

    At one time he was doing some pretty good stuff. Cliffhanger and Die Hard2 are the most notably successful. Die Hard 2 is a pretty solid action movie.

  2. Worried cinemagoer says:

    “Top” action film director?

    We are doomed

    • jhs39 says:

      He was one of the top Hollywood action directors in His Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger and Long Kiss Goodnight days. Maybe Skiptrace will be the comeback he needs.

      • Rex says:

        Watch the trailers for it, then try saying that with a straight face.

        Over-the-hill Harlin’s the best Hollywood helmer that Chan can get these days ever since he became a communist party mouthpiece. And once you’re done looking at the utterly derivative Skiptrace trailer, check out Harlin’s filmography. It’s been downhill CONSISTENTLY since Cutthroat Island with the exception of Long Kiss Goodnight, which at least got him back in good with the critics, for a little while. There’s no denying the man has directorial skills, even a recognizable style back in the day, but he’s been bouncing around the hinterlands for far too long now, and these Chinese shows are just more evidence of that. It’s the only place he can command a large budget and sizeable crew these days, especially as his days as a maker of muscular action tentpoles are long behind him.

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