China shingle to back Stan Lee’s ‘Annihilator’

National Film Capital unveils slate at Shanghai fest

SHANGHAI — China’s state-run National Film Capital fund bowed a slate of Sino-U.S. co-productions at the Shanghai Film Festival on Monday, including Stan Lee’s Chinese actioner, “The Annihilator.”

Lee, speaking by video from New York, said he was keen to make a Chinese hero for Chinese people, the latest sign of Hollywood’s growing interest in the booming market.

Script will be by Dan Gilroy and co-produced via Magic Storm Entertainment, in which Lee has a hand.

Pic will dip into a 360 million yuan ($57 million) fund set up by NFC, which also has ambitious plans to raise nearly $300 million to spend on 10 Hollywood co-productions that don’t come under China’s quota rules.

NFC will also back a script by the late chopsocky legend Bruce Lee, “The Silent Flute,” which has become almost legendary as Lee’s lost film. The futuristic sci-fi fantasy will be co-produced by Beijing’s Heshan Media with Heshan CEO Jiang Ping plus Jay Rifkin and Kyle Jackson as producers

“Our strategy is to make movies based on Chinese stories with Hollywood screenwriters and directors for global distribution,” said NFC topper Wang Guowei.

To that end, NFC set up a Los Angeles arm, National Film Capital Hollywood, in February.

NFC also intends to invest in China’s booming theater infrastructure — China is forecast to have 12,000 screens by the end of the year.

Speaking at the fest, Yang Buning, chairman of China Film Promotion Intl., said the film market was about technology transfer and joint ventures, just like other industries.

“China’s market is like the car market in 1980s. Back then we didn’t have any joint venture cars, just a few cars on the streets under Chinese brands. Now we have Audi and GM, lovely cars produced as joint ventures,” said Yang.