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AFM: Brian De Palma Switched On To China’s ‘Lights Out’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Brian De Palma is to direct action thriller “Lights Out,” which is backed by China’s Huace Pictures and Arclight Films.

The film is the story of a blind Chinese girl unknowingly caught in a plot to expose a top-secret assassination program. Although blind, she is able to use her other heightened senses to fight back and become a hero.

Casting is currently underway for top roles, including an A-list Chinese actress to star as the female action hero lead.

The film is the first to be made by Aurora Alliance Films the joint venture banner between Huace, one of China’s leading TV producers, and Sydney- and Los Angeles-based Arclight. The joint venture company was announced in September with a $300 million slate of high concept action pictures.

De Palma, an iconic member of the ‘New Hollywood’ wave, is one of Hollywood’s top brand name directors. He was recently honoured with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Directing credits include “Scarface,” “The Untouchables,” “Carlito’s Way,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Carrie.”

“De Palma is a proven master of suspense; in the hands of the legendary director, ‘Lights Out’  promises to be a thriller for the ages, full of empowering messages, harrowing plot turns and great action sequences,” said Ying Ye, MD of Aurora Alliance.

“Lights Out,” now in pre-production, will be produced by Huace Media Group; Ye of Aurora Alliance; Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, Elliot Tong of Arclight; with Toronto-based Jennifer Weiss and Simone Urdl of The Film Farm. Arclight Films is handling international sales.

Brian De Palma is represented by John Burnham of ICM and attorney Donald Steele.

The screenplay is by Lamont Magee and Jeff W. Byrd, who are represented by Ryan Saul at APA. French-born director Xavier Gens was previously attached to direct.

Aurora Alliance is also in advanced talks with James McTeigue to direct an untitled Chinese co-production being produced by Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road (“Gods of Egypt”), and “Safecracker,” a crime-action feature written by Paul Staheli, to be directed by Gregor Jordan (“Buffalo Soldiers”.)

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