×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Huayi Bros. Begins Shopping Guan Hu’s $80 Million War Epic ‘800’ in Berlin (EXCLUSIVE)

Leading Chinese film studio Huayi Bros. has begun sounding out international distributors in Berlin about director Guan Hu’s $80 million war film “800.” It will be completed by midsummer and is one of the most anticipated Chinese titles of the year.

Guan, who broke through to international and commercial success with 2015 gangster drama “Mr. Six,” is putting final touches on the film. Huayi’s pitch in Berlin focuses on the film’s fact-based narrative and the huge resources marshaled to deliver intense and realistic action. Filmed over eight months, it is the first Chinese feature to be shot with Imax digital cameras.

It’s one of just a handful of big-budget pictures generating buzz in China, where production has slowed in recent months. Dante Lam’s “Rescue,” about an intrepid Coast Guard team, is budgeted at $90 million.

The central narrative of “800” focuses on a group of Chinese soldiers and draft dodgers in 1937 who put up a four-day defense of a Shanghai warehouse complex just as Japanese forces are overwhelming China. The decision to make a stand at that location was intended both to stall the Japanese and to attract the attention of the foreign legations just across the river.

The technical crew on the film features a mixed Chinese and international team. It includes Chinese cinematographer Cao Yu (“Kekexili,” “Legend of the Demon Cat”) American action director Glenn Boswell (“The Matrix,” “I, Robot”) original music by the U.K.’s Rupert Gregson-Williams (“The Crown,” “Aquaman,” “Wonder Woman”) and Australia’s Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Tim Crosbie (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”).

Guan made his directorial debut with 1994 film “Dirt” and is considered to be a so-called sixth generation Chinese director, similar in age to Wang Xiaoshuai and Wang Quan’an, whose films appear in Berlin this week. Guan’s subsequent films, including “Cow” and 2013’s “The Chef, the Actor, the Scoundrel,” earned him awards in Asia. But major international recognition eluded him until “Mr, Six,” which premiered at Venice and featured director Feng Xiaogang in an acting role, portraying a former gangster pulled out of retirement to save his son.

More Film

  • Ewen Bremner as Alan McGee in

    Danny Boyle-Produced ‘Creation Stories’ Adds Jason Isaacs, Steven Berkoff

    Jason Isaacs, Steven Berkoff and a host of other new names have signed on for “Creation Stories,” the film being exec-produced by Danny Boyle about Creation Records co-founder Alan McGee. The producers also unveiled the first shots of Ewen Bremner (“Trainspotting”) as the music mogul. Production is underway on the Irvine Welsh-penned project, with “Lock, [...]

  • 'Annabelle Comes Home' Review: This Grab

    Film Review: 'Annabelle Comes Home'

    In a country that should probably think about renaming itself the American Entertainment State, fan culture now produces an obsessive level of pop scholasticism, one that can parse the rules and details of movies and TV shows as if they were fine points of law. In a review of a horror movie, I once called [...]

  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw A Wrinkle in Time

    Racing Green Pictures to Launch With Gugu Mbatha-Raw Historical Drama 'Seacole' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Producer Billy Peterson has formed a new production company, Racing Green Pictures, and announced production on “Seacole,” his first feature with the banner. The film will star Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Belle”) and Sam Worthington (“Avatar”). It centers on a Mary Seacole, a pioneering Jamaican nurse who cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War and [...]

  • The Other Story

    Film Review: 'The Other Story'

    Family disputes and conspiracies take center stage in “The Other Story,” veteran helmer Avi Nesher’s lively drama exploring a hot button issue: the divide between Israel’s secular Jews and the ultra-Orthodox. The fluid narrative plays out against the backdrop of a Jerusalem riven by multiple conflicts as two dysfunctional families separately arrive at an understanding [...]

  • George Clooney

    George Clooney to Direct, Star in 'Good Morning, Midnight' Adaptation for Netflix

    George Clooney has signed on to direct and star in a feature film adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s novel “Good Morning, Midnight” for Netflix. Mark L. Smith will adapt the screenplay from the sci-fi thriller, which was named one of the best books of 2017 by the Chicago Review of Books. The post-apocalyptic tale follows the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content