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Joe Johnston Directing ‘Starfall’ in China for Wanda, Lionsgate

Veteran director Joe Johnston has come on board to helm “Starfall,” a science-fiction action movie that will be shot at Wanda’s new Qingdao Studios in China.

The news about “Starfall” comes on the heels of the unveiling of plans by Wanda’s Wang Jianlin for a massive $8.2 billion production facility in Qingdao at a gala event on Monday night in Hollywood.

Producers are Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Erik Howsam and Infinity Pictures’ Dede Nickerson. The film, which will be budgeted at $100 million, is being co-financed by Lionsgate, Wanda and Infinity Pictures, which is backed by China Media Capital.

Johnston will direct “Starfall” from a script by David Coggeshall, set on a space station. Details of the plot are under wraps.

Johnston worked with George Lucas on the visual effects for the first three “Star Wars” movies and with Lucas and Spielberg on “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” for which he won a Best Visual Effects Academy Award. His directing credits include “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Jumanji,” “Jurassic Park III,” “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” and “October Sky.”

Di Bonevantura is the producer of the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises. Coggeshall wrote the Blumhouse horror film “Solo,” which recently completed production.

Johnston is repped by Paradigm. Coggeshall is repped by Paradigm and Writ Large. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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