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China to Get First Release of Shark Thriller ‘Meg’

Chinese audiences will enjoy the first commercial screenings of “Meg,” the Jason Statham and Li Bingbing-starring shark thriller movie that is now shooting.

Presenting companies Warner Bros. Pictures and China’s Gravity Pictures said that the film will release during the 2018 Chinese New Year period in China. The week-long annual holidays kick off on Friday Feb. 16 in 2018, some two weeks ahead of the film’s previously announced March 2, 2018 outing in the rest of the world.

Principal photography is now underway in New Zealand with Jon Turteltaub (the “National Treasure” movies, “Last Vegas”) as director. Filming will later shift to locations in China.

It is being produced by di Bonaventura Pictures, Apelles Entertainment, Maeday Productions, Inc., and Flagship Entertainment, in association with Beijing Digital Impression (BDI) Film. Flagship is the Hong Kong domiciled, Beijing-based production joint venture between Warner, China Media Capital and Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts (TVB.) Gravity Pictures is a China Media Capital subsidiary.

The story involves a deep-sea submersible attacked by a massive creature, previously thought to be extinct. The vessel lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific with its crew trapped inside. The screenplay is written by Dean Georgaris and Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber, based on the New York Times best-selling book by Steve Alten.

In addition to Statham and Li, the cast includes Winston Chao (“Skiptrace,” “Kabali”,) Masi Oka (TV’s “Hawaii Five-0,” “Heroes”,) New Zealander Cliff Curtis (“The Dark Horse,” TV’s “Fear the Walking Dead”), Rainn Wilson (TV’s “The Office,”) Ruby Rose (“xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” TV’s “Orange is the New Black”,) Page Kennedy (TV’s “Rush Hour”,) Jessica McNamee (“The Vow,” TV’s “Sirens”,) Olafur Darri Olafsson (“The BFG”,) Robert Taylor (“Focus,” TV’s “Longmire”,) and Sophia Shuya Cai (“Somewhere Only We Know”.)

Producers are Lorenzo di Bonaventura (the “Transformers” films), Belle Avery (“Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”) and Colin Wilson (“Suicide Squad,” “Avatar”.) Wayne Wei Jiang, Randy Greenberg, Barrie M. Osborne and Gerald R. Molen are executive producers.

The crew includes Oscar-nominated director of photography Tom Stern (“Changeling,” “Sully,” “American Sniper,” “The Hunger Games”), Oscar-winning production designer Grant Major (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “X-Men- Apocalypse”), editor Steven Kemper (“Mission: Impossible II,” “Face/Off”) and costume designer Amanda Neale (“Truth,” “Pete’s Dragon,” “What We Do in the Shadows”.)

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