Han Entertainment, the Hong Kong-based multimedia company established by former Media Asia head Thomas Chung and Michelle Yeoh, has added a contemporary take on the classic Chinese vampire genre to its burgeoning development slate.
The project, entitled Jiang Shi, is being scripted by French writers Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud, who also co-wrote Han's $20m debut production The Touch. Despite its Mandarin name, Chung expects Jiang Shi to be a mostly English-language production. Budgeted at around $5-6m, it will feature a US and Chinese cast.
"Just as Universal dug up a black-and-white print of The Mummy and decided to make a modern movie out of it, we thought we should take a look at our own horror legacy," said Chung.
Chinese vampire movies stretch back to the 1930s when they were produced by veteran Hong Kong studios such as the Shaw Brothers and Golden Princess.
Han announced last December that it is also developing a $25m project, Hua Mulan, based on the life of the legendary female warrior, Mulan. Huang Wei Ling, a co-writer on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is scripting the project, while Crouching Tiger's Oscar-winning cinematographer Peter Pau is set to direct.
Meanwhile Pau's The Touch, which stars Yeoh and Ben Chaplin, is currently in post-production and set for release in South-East Asia and Greater China at the end of July.