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Wanda to release Warrior in China

Wanda Media has acquired mainland China distribution rights to Taiwanese Wei Te-sheng’s war epic Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale.

Wanda Media is the film production and distribution arm of Chinese real estate conglomerate Wanda Group and the sister company of cinema circuit Wanda Cinema Line. The release is scheduled for early April.

The film has yet to receive a screening permit from China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) but has been cleared on the reviewing process with Chinese censors, according to sources near Wanda and producer Jimmy Huang, who handles rights in Chinese speaking regions on behalf of Wei Te-sheng’s ARS Film Productions.

Wei has edited a 150-minute version of the film for the mainland release, different from the version premiered at Venice last year, but only a few of the brutal battling scenes have been taken out.

Fortissimo Films handles international sales for the film outside China.

The film took $29m in Taiwan at the end of 2011 and is the highest-grossing Taiwanese film in the history. Several mainland distributors showed interested in the film subsequently but Wanda Group’s strength in the exhibition sector is believed to have clinched the deal in its favour. Wanda Cinema Line is the highest-grossing cinema circuit in China in the past two years, and owns over 600 screens across the country.

Wanda Media Group is also one of the backers and producers of Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut Tai Chi Man, co-producing with Village Roadshow and China Film Group. It is producing a romantic comedy starring Chinese actress Yang Mi and Hong Kong actor Hawick Lau, which will start shooting in early April.

Wanda Media is also experimenting with the distribution of foreign films and released Daniel Craig-starrer Dream House in mainland China late last year.

 

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