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Robert Zemeckis, STX, Alibaba Partner on Sci-Fi Film ‘Steel Soldiers’

STX Entertainment and China’s Alibaba Pictures will partner to co-develop and co-produce the sci-fi action movie “Steel Soldiers,” with Robert Zemeckis producing.

STX will handle U.S. and international distribution, while Alibaba retains rights in Greater China. Plans to expand the project beyond theatrical and onto other platforms are also underway.

STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson said, “Alibaba is a trailblazer in today’s highly competitive and rapidly changing consumer marketplace. Together, we look forward to immersing audiences in the battlefield of the future.”

“Steel Soldiers” is aimed at immersing audiences into a futuristic world where humans and androids fight shoulder to shoulder. The film follow a disgraced Special Forces officer being forced to train a new team of high-tech, but imperfect android soldiers, turn them into elite military officers, and lead them in a deadly mission to rescue the robot’s creator.

Zemeckis, Jack Rapke, and Jackie Levine will produce under their ImageMovers label, along with David Styne from an original screenplay written by Ken Kaufman (“Space Cowboys”).

The companies touted “Steel Soldiers” as being able to take advantage of STX’s multi-platform content making, marketing, and distribution capabilities and expertise, as well as Alibaba Pictures’ access to cutting-edge technology, its e-commerce approach, and the consumer insights in being part of Alibaba Group’s vast ecosystem.

“Alibaba Pictures is committed to bringing the most exciting content to China and beyond,” said Alibaba Pictures president Zhang Wei. “We are delighted to partner with STX on ‘Steel Soldiers,’ a project with global commercial appeal and cross-platform potential.”

Zemeckis directed the “Back to the Future” trilogy and “Forrest Gump,” and helmed and produced “Cast Away,” “Flight,” “The Polar Express,” and “Allied.”

Zemeckis and Rapke are represented by WME. Kaufman is represented by Wicked Curve and attorney Keith Fleer. Sheroum Kim will oversee the project for STXfilms. Shujin Lan-Shuster will oversee the project for Alibaba Pictures.

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