×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Renny Harlin Launches China-Based Production Company

Director Renny Harlin, who has made three movies in China and taken up residence in Beijing, is setting up a new China-based production and finance company, Extraordinary Entertainment, in partnership with producer Daljit DJ Parmar (“Kung Fu Yoga”).

Extraordinary Entertainment will have bases in Beijing and Hong Kong, and focus on developing international co-productions, as well as local-language Chinese content. Its pipeline is intended to be filled with action, sci-fi and comedy-adventure movies budgeted in the range of $10 million to $50 million, and New Age, premium and scripted series for TV and online. Parmar is CEO, while Harlin is the company’s chief creative officer.

The company has financial backing from Chinese strategic investors, mostly institutions and high-net-worth individuals. Talent agency UTA will represent the new company globally, including Harlin and Parmar.

The first announced feature, “Solara,” will see Harlin direct and produce with Parmar. “Solara” is a Mandarin-language sci-fi epic revolving around an international team working to save the Earth and the human race from a global catastrophe. The film was hatched by the writing team of Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt (“London Has Fallen,” “Expendables 3,” “Olympus Has Fallen”).

“We are using Hollywood writers for experience, story and structure, and then will team up with Chinese writers to adapt after, as Renny has often done with his films,” Parmar told Variety. He declined to give specifics about the scale of budget or international rights, indicating that either a sale to a Hollywood studio or to an indie company are still possible.

“We want to create top-quality entertainment for a Chinese audience and reach out to the international market with co-productions that authentically portray the Chinese spirit, heart and soul,” Harlin said in a statement. Other projects are being developed, but were not disclosed.

Harlin recently directed comedy-adventure “Skiptrace,” starring Jackie Chan, which grossed about $137 million in China. He is currently in post-production on one of the biggest-ever adaptations of a Chinese video game, “The Legend of the Ancient Sword,” for Alibaba Pictures, and the action thriller “Bodies at Rest” for Wanda Pictures.

“’Solara’ is an exciting example where we have developed a tentpole film catered for China with the potential to have success globally,” Parmar said. “We will cater to the growing demand from Chinese audiences for universal stories that are commercial and explore cultural diversity, promoting intercultural understanding.”

Both Harlin and Parmar are expected to pitch the new company and projects in Cannes.

More Film

  • Bill Hader Barry

    WGA Awards 2019: Announcing Winners Live

    The 71st annual Writers Guild Awards are underway at dual ceremonies at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. and at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. Chelsea Peretti hosted the West Coast ceremonies while Roy Wood Jr. was the emcee in New York Original screenplay nominees are Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma”; Adam McKay’s [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' No Match for China's 'Wandering Earth' Overseas

    Hollywood movies like “Alita: Battle Angel” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” are doing respectable business overseas, but they’re proving no match for foreign titles at the international box office. The Chinese New Year is bringing in huge business in the Middle Kingdom. China’s sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth” pulled in a [...]

  • ABA_062_DAU_0060_v0409.87501 – Rosa Salazar stars as

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' Wins Dismal President's Day Weekend

    Fox’s sci-fi adventure “Alita: Battle Angel” dominated in North America, but its opening weekend win isn’t leaving the box office with much to celebrate. Tracking services estimate that this will be one of the lowest grossing President’s Day weekends in years. Ticket sales are on pace to be the smallest bounty for the holiday frame [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content