You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rob Cohen to Direct $100 Million Action-Thriller ‘Speedhunters’ for China’s Jiaflix and 1905

Jiaflix Pictures and 1905 Pictures, part of state-owned China Movie Channel, have hitched up with Lorenzo di Bonaventura to produce car-racing action-thriller “Speedhunters.” Rob Cohen, who previously made “Fast and Furious,” will direct.

The film, which has a budget pegged at about $100 million, is set to shoot in Shanghai and Berlin’s Babelsberg Studios from July. Theatrical release is expected in summer 2018.

The film is set in the near future and rooted in the world of Formula racing. A colorful team of racers and crew gets drawn into high intrigue around a revolutionary technology that threatens to change the world.

“‘Speedhunters’ has all the tenets of a global franchise with its action sequences, visual effects, relatable characters and a storyline that takes ordinary people through a journey of extraordinary circumstances,” said di Bonaventura (“G.I. Joe,” “Transformers”), the lead producer.

Cohen, who is currently in post-production on Foresight Unlimited’s “Category 5,” is expected to make “Speedhunters” his next directing venture. “Opportunities to capture speed and action in a new way, using new filmic techniques, are rare and valuable to me. So it was with Josh Parkinson’s script. It told a story on which I could build a tapestry of break-the-limit speed, adrenaline, and a core group of great characters,” said Cohen, whose credits also include “xXx” and China-themed “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.”

Like “Furious” before it, “Speedhunters” will boast an ensemble cast. Of its four principal roles, two have been written as Chinese and are expected to be filled by Chinese talent. The film will be presented predominantly in English, with some Chinese dialog.

Producers are aiming for a major studio to handle a global release in all territories except China. Distribution in the Middle Kingdom is likely to be handled by the Chinese producers and local partners. The picture’s status as a Chinese co-production is currently being finalized.

In addition to producers Jiaflix and 1905, HuaHua Media is also an investor in the project.

Jiaflix, 1905 and China Movie Channel were all heavily involved in “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which shot partly in China and was preceded by a reality TV show that doubled as a casting call. The film earned $320 million in China, making it the country’s highest-grossing film of all time before it was overtaken by “Furious 7.” HuaHua was also an investor in “Transformers.”

“This venture is a reflection of the growing interest and strength of China-U.S. partnerships in bringing excellent films to the international market,” said Jiaflix founder Kenneth Huang, who is chairman of HuaHua and an independent board member of Shanghai Film Group.

1905 was previously an investor in “Terminator Genisys,” “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water.” It was also involved in the China marketing and distribution of “Spectre,” “The Angry Birds Movie” and this year’s top foreign movie in China, “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.” Founded by Huang, Marc Ganis and Sid Ganis, Jiaflix is a U.S.-China company that straddles co-productions, assisted productions and digital streaming.

Parkinson is represented by CAA, Gotham Group, and Adam Kaller of Hansen Jacobson. di Bonaventura is represented by CAA and Jacob Bloom at Bloom Hergott.

More Film

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer

    Film News Roundup: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Trailer Sets Sony Pictures Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” sets a studio record, Chris Meledandri and Glenn Close are honored, an art-house streaming service is unveiled, and “Cliffs of Freedom” gets a release. TRAILER STATS The first “Spider-Man: Far From Home” trailer has set a record as the biggest digital launch in Sony Pictures history [...]

  • Frank Grillo Hell on the Border

    Frank Grillo to Star in the Thriller 'Hell on the Border'

    Frank Grillo is set to star in the action-thriller “Hell on the Border” with Wes Miller directing. Miller also penned the script with Curtis Nichouls, Henry Penzi, and Sasha Yelaun producing. Ron Perlman is also on board to co-star. Plot details are unknown at this time. Production is currently underway in Birmingham, Ala. Grillo has [...]

  • Lee Unkrich Variety Oscars Nominees Lunch

    'Toy Story 3,' 'Coco' Director Lee Unkrich to Exit Pixar After 25 Years

    Lee Unkrich, who won Academy Awards for “Toy Story 3” and “Coco,” is departing Pixar Animation Studios after 25 years to spend more time with his family. Unkrich joined Pixar in 1994 after working as an assistant editor in television on “Silk Stalkings” and “Renegade.” He served as editor on Pixar’s first feature, 1995’s “Toy [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed

    Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed Back Several Months

    Warner Bros. is pushing back the production start date of its third “Fantastic Beasts” movie several months from July to the late fall, a spokesperson said Friday. Actors have been notified about the change in dates. The untitled third “Fantastic Beasts” movie has not yet set a release date. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content