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Warner Boards Jiang Wen’s ‘Hidden Man’

Warner Bros. in China has boarded the upcoming “Hidden Man,” by cult director Jiang Wen.

Jiang has had a career that lurched from being banned for his “Devils on the Doorstep” directorial effort, through to today being one of China’s most celebrated actor-directors. He recently starred in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

The film is produced by Gravity Pictures, one of the production and distribution companies within Li Ruigang’s China Media Capital group. Warner’s investment comes through Flagship Entertainment, the Beijing and Hong Kong joint venture between Warner and CMC. It is currently unclear what rights the studio obtains in exchange for its investment.

The film is pitched as the third element in a loose trilogy that stared with “Let The Bullets Fly” and continued with “Gone With The Bullets.” Both mix up old time gangsters, decadent high life, and power grabs, throwing up political analogies that Chinese censors were expected to OK and audiences were supposed to read between the lines.

The new movie is understood to be set in the 1920s, a time when China was lurching between revolution, prosperity, and chaos. It has been in post-production for many months as Jiang micro-managed the editing and visual effects processes.

That prolonged post-filming process is believed to have prevented it being a Cannes Film Festival contender. It is now teased as making a summer release in China, but should also be expected to make a splash at one of the major fall festivals.

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