A biopic of Stephon Marbury, the U.S. basketball player who moved to China, will go into production in the next year. It is part of a five film production deal between Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and China’s Beijing Hairun Pictures.
The two companies describe the agreement as “a long-term partnership in the joint development, financing, production and distribution of feature films.” Joint projects will initially consist of Sino-foreign co-productions with plans to also co-finance and co-produce English-language content in the near future.
The deal was announced on Monday, at the Beijing International Film Festival by VRPA’s Ellen Eliasoph and Hairun Media chairman Liu Yanming. The BJIFF runs April 16-23. It follows “Mountain Cry,” their debut joint feature, which is was initiated at the BJIFF last year.
Marbury, who came to Beijing in 2011 and transformed both himself and his Beijing pro team into champions, is himself expected to play in “My Other Home.” Production on “Home” and three other movies is expected to get under way in 2015 and 2016. Others are: “IPO,” a contemporary drama about the dark side of China’s booming financial markets; a Chinese remake of the 2013 Korean suspense thriller “Hide and Seek”; and a remake of an unnamed recent Hollywood police thriller.
“Mountain Cry” is now in post-production and is aiming for an August or September festival launch, Hairun Pictures VP Victoria Hon, told Variety. Releases in several overseas territories are handled by Village Roadshow group companies.
Hairun Media was set up in 203 and is now one of the largest TV producers in China, making some 800 hours per year, and also has a talent management business. It set up feature film arm Hairun Pictures in 2009 and has a partnership with Johnnie To’s Milkyway Image production company, which will see it handle China distribution of To’s upcoming “Office” later this year.
VRPA was set up in 2011 in order to make locally-targeted movies in the Greater China area. To date it has been involved in Stephen Chow’s “Journey To The West,” Leste Chen’s “Say Yes,” and “Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal.”