China’s Fundamental Films Unveils English-language Slate

Espionage thriller 'Chamber' to be set up as U.S.-Chinese co-production

TORONTO — Shanghai-based Fundamental Films is to co-produce a slate of English-language themed movies.

It will kick off with “China Black Chamber” and follow that with others it has set up with Luc Besson’s (pictured above) Europacorp and with Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Pictures.

“Chamber” is pitched as “an espionage story about the infiltration of the Japanese intelligence in 1938 by an American spy recruited by the Chinese military.”

Fundamental says that the film’s cast will be a combination of top Chinese and U.S. talent and that the packaging is typical of its strategy of making commercial European and American films with budgets upwards of $20 million. Fundamental expects to bring on partners, but retain an equity position and Chinese rights.

The company says that it is working with Thunder Road on the co-production of “A Gang Story,” an English-language remake of the French film “Les Lyonnais,” that will star Liam Neeson; “The Drop” and “24 Hours to Live.”

Fundamental is currently in post-production on animated film “The Prince and the 108 Demons,” which Europacorp is selling internationally. Previously it was financier and producer of Chinese film “Case Sensitive,” and was last year announced as the Chinese buyer of Mandate International’s Steven Soderbergh thriller “Haywire.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Bong Joon Ho 'Parasite' Director

    Listen: Who Will Take Home the Oscars for Best Director and Picture?

    The Oscars are just two weeks away, so it’s time to start making final predictions about who is going to win. On this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, I invited the magazine’s deputy awards and features editor (and my “Pick of the Week” co-host) Jenelle Riley onto the show [...]

  • Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

    'Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets': Film Review

    “Smile for the camera, motherf—ers,” warns the graffiti outside the Roaring Twenties, a Las Vegas dive bar where spirits are high because the end is nigh. The boozers who’ve braved this dim red cave, in Bill and Turner Ross’ bitterly funny docufiction film “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets,” have signed on to play themselves in an [...]

  • Mucho Mucho Amor

    'Mucho Mucho Amor': Film Review

    What a fraud, you might have thought glimpsing astrologist Walter Mercado on TV in the ’90s. But you wouldn’t forget his face. The bejeweled and blonded psychic hotline pitchman looked like a sorcerer from outer space. Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch’s giddily glittery documentary “Mucho Mucho Amor” traces the half-century that Mercado was a global [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Number of Black Oscar Nominees Hits 3-Year Low in 2020

    The Oscars’ failure to nominate any female directors has ignited a fierce backlash, as has the lack of diversity among top acting nominees. A deeper dive into the categories reveals that the number of black nominees hit a three-year low. Only five black people were nominated for Oscars in 2020. That’s down from 15 in [...]

  • Herself

    'Herself': Film Review

    In 2008, opera director Phyllida Lloyd’s pop-cornball big-screen debut, “Mamma Mia!,” more than earned its exclamation point, grossing more than $600 million worldwide. Three years later, her more serious-minded follow-up, “The Iron Lady,” earned Meryl Streep an Oscar. Most people would agree that was a not-too-shabby start for a helmer of any gender. But instead [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content