HONG KONG — Helmer John Woo and producer partner Terence Chang are near completing financing and distribution for Asian period actioner “Battle of Red Cliff.”
Duo’s Lion Rock Entertainment has struck sales and investment deals in four of the five Asian territories that it has kept for itself on the $50 million pic, which stars Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Taiwanese supermodel Lin Chiling.
“Red Cliff” screenplay is by “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” co-scripter Wang Hui-ling.
L.A.-based sales outfit Summit Entertainment will arrange distribution in other territories. It will present the project to territory distribs for the first time at Berlin’s European Film Market in February.
Although several Hollywood studios have sought to board the pic, only North America has been earmarked for studio involvement, unless rights are acquired territory by territory.
Lion Rock is in final negotiations for music group Avex Entertainment to buy Japanese rights and take equity in the pic through its Hong Kong investment hub, Avex Asia. Previously, distrib Rentrak had been close to a deal.
In South Korea, local major Mediaplex/Showbox has stepped up to the plate in a similar deal.
In August, state body China Film Group announced it would be the Chinese partner on the pic and, with local investors, put up some 30% of the coin. Taiwanese rights are with CMC, leaving only Hong Kong still open.
Pic, which lenses in China beginning in March, is based on part of the huge and rambling Han dynasty novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” which also provides source material for Andy Lau-Maggie Q starrer “The Three Kingdoms.”
That pic, also due to shoot in March, is set up through South Korea’s Taewon Entertainment and Hong Kong’s Visualizer Entertainment.