×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chinese Star Li Bingbing Lands In Australian Sci-Fi Pic ‘Nest’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Li Bingbing, the top Chinese actress who is carving out a Hollywood career, is to star in “Nest,” an English-language sci-fi actioner being directed by Kimble Rendall.

Li will also be a producer on the Chinese-Australian co-production, which is being represented by Darclight, the genre films offshoot of Sydney- and Los Angeles-based Arclight Films. Pre-production ahead of a shoot in 3D is under way in Australia’s Gold Coast and Darclight is pitching the film to distributors at the Toronto Film Festival.

The story involves a team of scientists who, while making the discovery of the century, lose a colleague in an ancient labyrinth. The group must battle their way through a swarm of deadly, man-eating funnel web spiders and discover the secret behind the insects’ power and unusual intelligence.

Nest” is understood to be the largest Chinese-Australian co-production to date, and has scored finance from federal funding body Screen Australia and from state film support agency Screen Queensland.

Production is by Nest Holdings in partnership with Loongs United Investment, a Beijing-based film and TV investor which was responsible for the Chinese distribution of “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” and Jason Statham vehicle “Redemption.” Producers include Gary Hamilton, Ying Ye and Mark Lazarus, Serena Deng and Li Bingbing. Executive producers include Mike Gabrawy and Elliot Tong.

Rendall, a noted action director (“Matrix: Reloaded,” “Matrix: Revolutions”), made his directorial debut three years ago with “Bait 3D,” which was similarly a Chinese-Australian joint venture, handled by Arclight and grossed $25 million at the Chinese box office.

Visual effects on “Nest” will be supplied by Australia’s Rising Sun Pictures (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and “The Great Gatsby”).

Li has Hollywood credits including “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Resident Evil: Retribution.” The Chinese films she has starred in, including “Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame” and “Zhongkui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal,” have been some of the highest-grossing films made in the emerging cinema superpower. She is represented by Darren Boghosian at UTA, Fundamental Management and attorney Karl Austen.

“With a mesmerizing story, the brilliance of director Kimble Rendall, the breath-taking talent of Li Bingbing and an A-list special effects team, ‘Nest’ is perfectly positioned to be a major commercial success with thrill-seeking audiences all over the world,” said Ye, producer, and managing director of Easternlight.

More Film

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners

    Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel,' 'Lego Movie 2' to Lead President's Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations. “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack [...]

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content