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China's Fantawild unwraps slate of creature features

Chinese theme park giant and content producer Fantawild is attending AFM for the first time this year with a slate of creature features and VFX-driven pictures.

US director Blake Freeman (Mucho Dinero) is attached to direct Unshrinkable 3D, about a young Chinese woman and her American boyfriend struggling to protect her grandfather who has developed an iPhone app that can shrink people. The $7m film is expected to start shooting in February next year.

The company is also developing Kung-fu Baby 3D, featuring a high-kicking infant with nunchuks; The City Of Rats 3D, and Killer Croc 3D, a follow-up to the company’s Million Dollar Crocodile, which Screen Media Films will release in the US.

All the films will be English-language and Fantawild is hoping to bring on board Western co-producers to help broaden international distribution.

“We’re already strong in theme parks and animation so we decided to expand into film production, following the Disney and Universal business model which we’ve researched in depth,” said Fantawild Films general manager Jason Han.

One of China’s largest theme park companies, Fantawild entered the visual effects business by making short 3D films for theme park rides. It entered film production in 2009 and also has credits including Inseparable, starring Kevin Spacey, and Wong Jing’s Future X-Cops.

Fantawild owns sound stages in Wuhu, Anhui province, a VFX facility in Beijing and is currently building a 3D facility in Tianjin and further studios in Qingdao, Shandong province.

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