Chen’s ‘Promise’ heads west

Cheung starrer finds distrib with Weinstein Co.

Chen Kaige’s latest pic “The Promise” has found distribution in the U.S., U.K. and several other territories through a new relationship between IDG New Media Fund and the Weinstein Co.

The two have snapped up North America, U.K., Australia and South Africa rights to the Chinese pic, which is in post-production.

It’s being touted as the biggest budgeted Chinese pic ever.

Along with Chen, pic features Oscar-winning cinematographer Peter Pau (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) and a cast including Hiroyuki Sanada, Jang Dong-Kun and Cecilia Cheung.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this deal, knowing that this will be a top Academy push from the Weinstein Co.,” commented Etchie Stroh, of Chen’s Moonstone Entertainment.

Chen added, “I worked with Harvey and Bob Weinstein on the Oscar nominated ‘Farewell My Concubine’ and couldn’t be more excited to join them and IDG on this new venture.”      

“This script is like reading poetry in motion and seeing the promo reel confirms Kaige’s status as a master of cinema,” Harvey Weinstein said.

The film’s epic battle sequences are matched by a dramatic love story.

Michelle Krumm and Maeva Gatineau brought the film into the Weinstein Co. 

IDG New Media Fund was set up in March to develop media content with an initial $50 million investment. David Lee brought the film to the attention of the fund.

In an unrelated structure, Variety is partnered with IDG on the publication Variety China, which comes out bi-weekly in Mandarin.