British director Peter Hewitt (“Sliding Doors,” “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey”) has begun pre-production on “The Wonder” a teen fantasy-adventure that is the first joint feature-film venture between China and New Zealand.
Willow Shields and Karl Urban are in discussions to star.
The US$20 million-budgeted 3D picture will begin principal photography in September in Auckland, New Zealand and Lijiang, China.
Paul Lin’s Beijing-based media investment and production company, Show and Share Entertainment, is producing along with New Zealand producers Richard Fletcher and Allan Xia. The U.K. producing partners are Robert & Ashley Sidaway and Iain Brown.
Hyde Park International is handling worldwide sales, excluding China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Based on an original screenplay by the Sidaways, “The Wonder’s” script consultant is Feng Li, who wrote “House of the Flying Daggers” and “Hero.”
“It’s a techno-fantasy story about troubled young people causing a major natural disaster by hurting nature and then having to put it right in a race against time!” said Robert Sidaway. “It’s been developed to entertain audiences in both the East and West, and is a truly creative collaboration with our Chinese partners.”
Key crew include director of photography, Richard Bluck (“The Hobbit,” “Avatar,” “Lord of the Rings”) and production designer, David L. Snyder (“Blade Runner,” “Demolition Man”.)
“The Wonder” qualifies for the recently upped New Zealand Screen Production Grant.