Beijing’s Er Dong Pictures will establish a joint venture with Hollywood’s Gersh Agency this year as part of the fast-growing Chinese film investor’s ambitious plans to expand at home and abroad.
The partnership means the 70-year-old American talent agency, which has more than 100 agents representing artists such as Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Olsen and Tony Jaa, will share its talent resources with Er Dong, while leveraging the latter’s growing influence in the Chinese film industry.
Unveiling the collaboration at FilMart on Monday, Bill Gersh, grandson of the agency’s founder Phil Gersh, said: “As the Chinese film industry thrives, more and more Western talent is being showcased in Chinese films and television. Now is the time for Chinese stories to go global and we’ll have the opportunity to expand our artists’ careers into the Chinese and Asian markets.”
“Working with Er Dong presents an opportunity for expanding our reach globally. We are currently participating heavily in the Asian market and feel the Agency’s continued attention here and growth will benefit all clients by bringing business to both territories,” Brett Norensberg, partner of Gersh, told Variety. “As Er Dong takes a focused approach to and places more emphasis on international production, possibilities become numerous.”
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Details of which Hollywood artists will take part in what projects are not known yet.
Er Dong also announced its partnership with Starlight Culture Entertainment, whereby the two companies have signed 10 Hollywood directors to develop at least 12 film projects, including “Gold Mountain,” a period drama by Alan Tyler, and “Autoerotic” by Sam Raimi.
On the home front, Er Dong will open five theater complexes and 10 VR cinemas across China this year. The company plans to be listed on the Hong Kong stock market this year, but would not be drawn on a timeline or details.