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China’s Galloping Horse Enlists Jerry Weintraub, Cameron Jones for Movie Expansion

U.S. producer Cameron Jones (“Traffic”) and Jerry Weintraub are set to produce two movies in China with Beijing Galloping Horse, the company behind John Woo’s current work-in-progress “The Crossing.”

Jones will produce “Forever Young,” an English-language musical comedy with Eric Stoltz set as director, from a script by John Richards. Production is expected to begin by the end of the year, with locations taking in China and Boston, Mass.
“Eric has a track record in musicals, including directing 13 episodes of ‘Glee’.”

Weintraub is set as producer on “Legion One,” a martial arts action comedy, that will likely follow later.

Under recently appointed head of film, Ray Chen, Galloping Horse is expanding feature film activities, and has green-lighted two other local Chinese titles ‘Lost In New York,” to be directed by Frank Zhu, and “Love From Another Planet,” a romantic comedy to be directed by Huang Lei.

Chen joined Galloping Horse at the beginning of the year, having quit Ivanhoe Pictures, the pan-Asian investment and production company which Chen co-founded with John Penotti and which is backed by mining billionaire Robert Friedland.

Combined production budgets for the four titles are in excess of RMB500 million ($81 million), with Galloping Horse putting up approximately RMB150 million ($24 million) of the total, alongside finance partners and distributors Enlight and Le Vision Pictures.

“We are not neglecting our TV business, but this is the year to re-emphasize our film activities,” Chen told Variety. Last year it produced hit romance “Fleet of Time.” “There are real opportunities to see U.S. companies come into China, and also for Chinese companies like ours to play on the world stage.”

Galloping Horse has undergone a management and ownership transformation in the past year since the unexpected death in January 2014 of its founder and chairman. Li Ming. The company is now chaired by Li Li, finance director and Li Ming’s sister. Vice president, Li Gong is the company’s operational head and is also taking interim charge of the TV activities until a permanent TV head is appointed.

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