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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Alan Partridge’ Bows To Social Media Pressure; John Woo Starts Work On Two-Part Epic Film; More

Social Media Campaign Nets ‘Alan Partridge’ Premiere For English Town
The people of Norwich, England, have won. After a Facebook and Twitter campaign to bring the premiere of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa to the town that’s the setting for the film, distributor StudioCanal and writer Armando Iannucci today announced it will indeed launch at Norwich’s Anglia Square on July 24. Steve Coogan plays the cult character whose fictional radio station, North Norfolk Digital, is located in Norwich. The movie will premiere at a lunchtime showing in Norwich before being screened later that evening in London’s Leicester Square. The official UK release is August 7. Click on the image at left to enlarge the note Iannucci tweeted from Partridge himself.

John Woo Begins Work On What Local Media Is Calling Chinese ‘Titanic’
Director John Woo has started production on his next helming effort, The Crossing. Beijing Galloping Horse is producing the war epic/disaster movie as a two-part feature. The film, set in 1940s Shanghai and Taiwan, revolves around three couples from different backgrounds whose lives are affected by the tide of history. It’s been dubbed by local media as the Chinese Titanic. The lead cast includes Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro (House Of Flying Daggers), Huang Xiao Ming (The Banquet), Tong Dawei (The Flowers Of War) and Japan’s Masami Nagasawa. Veteran director Woo, whose U.S. titles include M-I:2 Mission: Impossible 2 and Face/Off, last helmed 2009′s Red Cliff II.

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John Woo & Terence Chang’s ‘Flying Tigers’ Adds New Investors In Beijing

By | Monday April 22, 2013 @ 5:08pm PDT

Cyrte Investments and China Film Co. have come on board with John Woo and Terence Chang for their ambitious Flying Tigers feature film and miniseries project. The feature version will be released as a two-part movie in China while the miniseries will be broadcast as a six hour project internationally. The announcement that the Dutch boutique firm would be putting money in the project along with China Film was made today during the Beijing International Film Festival. A public signing ceremony was held and attended by Cyrte CEO Frank Botman, CFG Chairman Han Sanping, Chang and Woo among others. The director and Chang will produce the films and TV miniseries  about the volunteer fighter squadron formed by General Claire Chennault to help the Chinese fight against Japan before the U.S. entered WWII under their Lion Rock Productions banner. Cyrte says it will work with its portfolio company Exclusive Media to assist with the Flying Tigers project. China Film had been involved with the Flying Tiger project in its early stages a couple of years back. The film will be shot in English, Lion Rock says.
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Bruno Wu To Finance John Woo-Produced Remake Of ‘The Killer’: Cannes

By | Friday May 18, 2012 @ 3:25am PDT

(Cannes) May 18, 2012 –– Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars Film Studios (SSFS) has agreed to finance John Woo and Terence Chang’s Lion Rock Productions ‘THE KILLER’, the English language retelling of John Woo’s iconic 1989 action film. John H. Lee (A MOMENT TO REMEMBER, 71: INTO THE FIRE) will direct the script by Josh Campbell (ONE SQUARE MILE). Sarah Yan Li, China’s most promising rising star, will co-star in the thriller. Additionally, Li is a top graduate from China Central Academy of Performing Arts, China’s top performing art academy, and was recently selected as the spokesperson of China’s leading automaker Brilliance Automobile. Li is repped by CAA.

Lion Rock’s John Woo and Terence Chang will produce alongside Lion Rock’s Lori Tilkin, who will executive produce. Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars will finance the film which begins filming Q4 2012 in Toronto. Seven Stars’ CEO Fred Milstein closed the deal prior to Cannes.

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John Woo To Direct ‘Day Of The Beast’

By | Wednesday May 16, 2012 @ 3:06am PDT

(Cannes) May 16, 2012 –– John Woo and Terence Chang’s Lion Rock Productions and Nikkatsu Corporation will co-produce DAY OF THE BEAST, a remake of Seijun Suzuki’s 1963 classic Youth of the Beast centering on the dealings of Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. Woo (Mission: Impossible II, Face/Off) will direct and produce the script by Rob Frisbee along with Terence Chang, and Nikkatsu’s Naoki Sato. Lori Tilkin, Aki Sugihara and Yoko Asakura are executive producing. The English language production was announced as Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest major movie studio, celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year.

John Woo said, “This remake is my salute to the great films and filmmakers produced by Nikkatsu’s 100 years in cinema history. It is exciting for me as well as an honor.”

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Remake Of John Woo’s ‘The Killer’ Reloading

By | Monday January 31, 2011 @ 1:32pm PST
Mike Fleming

Hollywood has long wanted to remake John Woo’s Hong Kong action classic The Killer and I was always kind of happy when past attempts fell apart because I’ve yet to see an assassin as cool as Chow Yun-Fat was in the  1989 original. To me, it’s almost like trying to remake The Godfather or some other sacrosanct picture considered best in its genre, even though its balletic violence and over the top gunplay informed so many movies, including The Matrix. Now it looks like a remake will happen, in 3D no less (will the flying doves be enhanced with that technology?) At least Woo is involved for some quality control as the picture mobilizes for sales at Berlin. Here’s the announcement:

Los Angeles, 31 January 2011: Essential Entertainment has joined Lion Rock Productions in its remake of THE KILLER in 3D, currently in pre-production, which will be directed by John H. Lee (A Moment to Remember, Saying Good-bye, Oneday) and written by Josh Campbell. Jung Woo-Sung (Reign of Assassins, The Good, The Bad, The Weird) will star in this English language re-telling of John Woo’s iconic action masterpiece, with additional cast to be announced shortly. The film will be produced by Woo (Face/Off, Mission: Impossible II) and Terence Chang under their Lion Rock Productions banner. Essential Entertainment will be handling worldwide sales.

Producer John Woo said: “While all my films are special to me, THE KILLER is truly one of my

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Tom Cruise vs John Woo For ‘Flying Tigers’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: John Woo and Terence Chang might well be getting off the tarmac first with their WWII saga Flying Tigers. But New Regency, 20th Century Fox, and Tom Cruise are still fighting the good fight on a rival project that carries the  identical title. They’ve hired Kirk Ellis to rewrite a draft of Flying Tigers that was done by Cruise’s Valkyrie scribe Christopher McQuarrie and Mason Alley. Both films are based on the story of the volunteered fighter squadron formed by General Claire Chennault to help the Chinese fight against the Empire of Japan before the United States entered WWII. The aging Chinese planes were no match for the superior Japanese forces, until the volunteers arrived in American-made P-40 War Hawks. The two squadrons flew side by side, in fighter planes emblazoned with the gaping tiger’s teeth logo. After Pearl Harbor, the Flying Tigers became an effective squadron in the U.S. Air Force. Jeff Greene is producing. Read More »

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John Woo Makes IMAX Debut With ‘Flying Tigers’

Mike Fleming

IMAX Corporation announced that John Woo and his producing partner Terence Chang will have their next film, Flying Tigers, digitally remastered for The IMAX Experience. The film–a Hollywood-China joint production with China Film Group as lead Chinese financier–tells the story of the American Volunteer Group and its later incarnation as the 14th Air Force during WWII. Led by Air Force General Claire Chennault, the joint air forces consisted of American and Chinese pilots flying side by side against the Empire of Japan. Shooting begins next spring.

Said Woo: “It has always been a dream of mine to explore shooting with IMAX cameras and to work in the IMAX format and the strong visual element of this film is incredibly well-suited to the tastes of cinemagoers today. Using IMAX for Flying Tigers would create a new experience for the audience and I think it would be another breakthrough for Chinese movies.”

Last week when I wrote about Mike Medavoy and The Wildest Dream director Anthony Geffen’s plans for a company formed to make 3D documentaries on larger than life subjects, Geffen said that exploiting the expanding IMAX screens were an important part of that business plan. Getting in on the ground floor of Chinese produce seems a smart way for IMAX expansion in an untapped region with massive growth potential.

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