Australian actors Tess Haubrich (“Alien: Covenant”) and Callan Mulvey (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” TV’s “Underbelly”) have joined Jackie Chan in the cast of Chinese-Australian sci-fi thriller “Bleeding Steel.”
The official start of production was announced Thursday at a ceremony at Sydney Opera House involving the state of New South Wales’ acting premier Troy Grant and minister for skills John Barilaro.
Producers repeated the assertion that “Bleeding Steel” is the biggest budget Chinese film ever to shoot in Australia. However, despite repeated inquiries by Variety, the producers refused to disclose any details that might substantiate such a claim — the overall production budget, the proportion that will be spent in Australia or the scale of the subsidies from Australian state and federal sources.
The film, which has actually been shooting in the streets of Sydney for the past few days, is backed by China’s Heyi Pictures and by Village Roadshow Pictures Asia. Filming will continue in mainland China and Taiwan.
The film is written and directed by China’s Leo Zhang. Zhang’s script sees Chan as a special force agent who becomes embroiled in a huge conspiracy, while protecting a young woman who is an important witness for a major case. Years later, after the publication of an epic sci-fi novel, the parties behind the conspiracy resurface.
Other cast includes Nana Ouyang (“To the Fore”), newcomer Erica Xia-Hou, and Show Luo (“Journey to the West,” “Mermaid”.)
Chan’s parents moved from Hong Kong to Australian capital Canberra when he was a 7 year old. He later held laboring and restaurants in the country before his film career took off.
Heyi Pictures is the film production arm of Youku Tudou, the Alibaba-owned online video company. The company says it draws heavily on online content business models and has a strong commitment to exploring innovative uses of “big data” for strategy, marketing and brand development in the production process.
VRPA is the Beijing based offshoot of Australia’s Village Roadshow group and largely focuses on Sino-foreign co-productions. It has been involved with Stephen Chow’s “Journey to the West,” Leste Chen’s “Say Yes!,” and “Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal.” Its upcoming films include “Mountain Cry,” “Hide and Seek” and “Reborn.”