Korean sales agency Niners Entertainment has picked up global rights outside North America to “The Unbidden,” the latest film from China’s Thunder Communications International and Quentin Lee, director of “The People I’ve Slept With.”
“The Unbidden” which is pitched as the first female-driven, Asian-American supernatural thriller, stars Tamlyn Tomita (“Teen Wolf,” “The Joy Luck Club”), Julia Nickson (“Rambo,” TV’s “Noble House”), Amy Hill (“50 First Dates,” “Lilo & Stitch”), Elizabeth Sung (“The Joy Luck Club”) and Michelle Krusiec (“Saving Face,” “The Invitation”.) It will have its world premiere next week at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
The story sees a mystery writer haunted by the ghost of a tortured, bloodied man. She and her friends are held hostage by another man while they are in the middle of a séance trying to get rid of the ghost. “The Unbidden” is Niners Enertainment’s first English language acquisition. The deal was negotiated by Thunder Communications’ Charles Lei with Niners Entertainment’s Eun-Yong Choi.
“We financed the picture because it was a highly original vision produced by Asian American talents both in front of and behind the screen” said Lei, who produced the picture alongside Stanley Yung, screenwriter NaRhee Ahn and Quentin Lee. “Although the supernatural theme of this film perhaps might not be the most appropriate for China, trans-Pacific collaboration between Asian American and Chinese talents like Quentin will be the new norm for future generations of film makers.”
Continuing the international production theme, Thunder Communications recently struck a five picture production arrangement with the U.K.’s Poisson Rouge. The first title under that deal is “The Proving Ground,” a U.K.-China action thriller based on a true story about biologist and Sinologist Joseph Needham, who undertook a mission to uncover the biological weapons mysteriously used in China in 1948.
Lei, former GM China for Walt Disney Television International, argues that working with the U.K. provides access to high quality English-language scripts at a lower cost than working directly within the Hollywood system. “The Proving Ground” is to be directed by Jonathan Finnegan from a screenplay by Andy Briggs (“The Philadelphia Experiment.”)
Poisson Rouge is headed by London-based French producer Christopher Granier-Deferre.