×

Vast New Wanda Studios in China Targets Big Hollywood, Domestic Productions

Wanda Studios — the vast production site under construction in Qingdao, China — aims to host at least five to six Hollywood projects in its first year of full operation in 2018, the studios’ new president and CEO Alvin Fu said Sunday. The new facility also hopes to attract at least four to five domestic productions a year with a budget of more than RMB 100 million ($14.7 million) each.

Fifteen of the studios’ 30 soundstages are up and running, including two occupying about 1.5 acres each and one — which Wanda says is the world’s largest — covering 2.5 acres. Two big-screen spectaculars have already been shot there: “The Great Wall” and “Pacific Rim 2,” which just wrapped. Three more productions are underway at the site, which occupies more than 400 acres of land in the newly developed Huangdao district of Qingdao.

On Sunday, Fu hosted a tour of the facility for studio executives and producers including Chris Kuhl, production resources manager from Disney; Luke Homeres, executive director of production finance at MGM; Carrie Wong, head of local production film and TV greater China at Sony Pictures; Adam McCarthy, Universal’s vice president of physical production; and Gillian Zhao, Warner Bros.’ executive vice-president and managing director for China.

Fu said the studios were positioned to be China’s answer to Hollywood. Besides its sprawling size, the facility will also feature China’s largest exterior water tank, a temperature-controlled underwater stage, and a manmade island reclaimed from the Yellow Sea. Britain’s Pinewood Studios served as a design consultant on the Wanda project.

Popular on Variety

“Pacific Rim 2” and the next “Godzilla” film are among the Hollywood projects to be shot at Wanda Studios. Fu said the company was in talks with other potential Hollywood partners on bringing them to Qingdao.

“China’s film industry is booming, and it won’t take long to become the world’s No. 1, surpassing North America. There is a huge demand for state-of-the-art studios facilities in the country, but at the moment there aren’t enough of such studios,” said Fu, who joined Wanda Studios just three weeks ago from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

“The logistics for location shooting has become very complicated,” he said. “But we can offer an environment that is completely under control.”

The studios form part of Wanda Group’s $8.2-billion investment in commercial property investment in coastal Qingdao. Group Chairman Wang Jianlin announced the studios while in Hollywood last October.

Two more yet-to-be-identified domestic films are currently in production in Qingdao. A third is “The Wandering Earth,” a screen adaptation of Liu Cixin’s novel of the same name, with a reported $50-million budget. The movie, directed by Guo Fan, is being billed as China’s first sci-fi blockbuster and is backed by China Film Group, Beijing Culture, and Wanda Pictures.

Gong Geer, a producer at director Guo’s G!Film Studio, praised the international standard of Wanda Studios’ facilities. He said his crew has been on the Qingdao site for three months and was expecting to spend three more months there.

More Film

  • "Last Film Show"

    Berlin: Orange Studio Launches 'The Last Film Show,' 'Old Fashioned, 'Love Song For Tough Guys' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Under the new leadership of industry veteran Kristina Zimmermann, Orange Studio, the film/TV division of the French telco group Orange, is launching three new projects at Berlin’s European Film Market: “Last Film Show,” “Old Fashioned” and “Love Song for Tough Guys.” Directed by Pan Nalin (“Samsara”), “Last Film Show” follows Samay, a 9-year-old boy living [...]

  • Bootlegger

    Best Friend Forever Acquires Cannes' Cinefondation Prizewinning 'Bootlegger' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brussels-based company Best Friend Forever has acquired international sales rights to Caroline Monnet’s feature debut “Bootlegger” which won best screenplay at Cannes’ Cinefondation in 2017. A well-known contemporary artist, Monnet has shed light on Indigenous identity and has debunked stereotypes through her works, which have been shown at the Whitney Biennial in New York, Palais [...]

  • Greed

    'Greed': Film Review

    I’ve got this friend who makes his own clothes. Not the generic kind cut from dowdy prairie-dress patterns, but chic, design-it-yourself garments that look better than most anything you’d find on a ready-to-wear rack. I figure he’s the only person I know who’s not guilty of contributing to the kind of sweatshop misery writer-director Michael [...]

  • Rumba

    Gaumont Reteams With Franck Dubosc on 'Rumba Therapy' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gaumont is reteaming with actor-turned-director Franck Dubosc on another comedy: “Rumba Therapy” follows his hit 2018 pic “Rolling to You,” which was one of the highest-grossing films in France and abroad. “Rumba Therapy” stars Dubosc as a man in his 50s who lives alone after having abandoned his wife and baby decades earlier. He sets [...]

  • WestEnd Boards 'The Score,' Starring Johnny

    WestEnd Boards Heist Musical 'The Score,' Starring Johnny Flynn, Will Poulter, Naomi Ackie (EXCLUSIVE)

    World sales agency WestEnd Films has boarded “The Score,” a heist musical starring Johnny Flynn (“Emma,” “Stardust”), Will Poulter (“The Revenant”), Naomi Ackie (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”) and Antonia Thomas (Netflix’s “Lovesick”), from one of the producers of Beatles music themed hit “Yesterday,” which grossed $154 million worldwide. “The Score” combines a heist [...]

  • There is no Evil

    Iran's Mohammad Rasoulof on His 'There is no Evil' As 'Resistance,' Exclusive Trailer

    Iranian auteur Mohammad Rasoulof, whose sixth feature “There is no Evil” screens in competition at the Berlinale, is one of his country’s most prominent directors even though none of his films have screened in Iran where they are banned. In 2011, the year he won two prizes at Cannes with his censorship-themed “Goodbye,” Rasoulof was sentenced [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content