Paramount and China Film Co said today that Rob Cohen will helm the 3D fantasy/action film Marco Polo. with shooting to begin in China later this year. The announcement was made at a press conference in Beijing by Paramount Pictures Vice Chairman Rob Moore, China Film Co Chairman La Peikang and Cohen. Moore said the story of Marco Polo is the perfect choice for this international collaboration, as it is well-known not only in China but also in the West. He also added that there has been great interest in Hollywood and China to participate.
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La said that with the rapid economic development in China, Chinese movies have entered a “great creative and great industrial” era and that Marco Polo breaks the traditional method of a China-U.S. co-production. He added that China no longer is only providing the money, talent and market but also being part of script development, technology complementation and film technician exchange and that this will be a co-production that has never been seen before with a major Hollywood studio.
BREAKING: Thomas Tull’s Legendary East said that China Film Co Ltd. has made an eight-figure equity investment in two Legendary Entertainment pics: the Jeff Bridges starrer Seventh Son and Warcraft, the pic based on the Blizzard online game that Duncan Jones is writing and directing. It marks the first time China Film Co has taken a stake in Hollywood films, and if the pics are approved by China‘s government it will distribute them in the booming movie market with support via Legendary East and global distribution partner Universal.
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China Film Co is majority-owned by China Film Group and is the largest producer and distributor of Chinese content — CFG has an exclusive grip on Mainland revenue-share releasing. There has been talk that a new government-approved distributor could emerge, but a number of China-watchers are skeptical. Today’s deal stems from the multi-year agreement Legendary East and CFC inked in May 2013 to together produce tentpole-scale films for the global market. As part of the investment structure, CFC will be credited on these films, and its equity recouped, on a worldwide basis, the companies said. Today’s announcement was made by China Film Co chairman La Peikang and Legendary East CEO Peter Loehr.
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