Projects in pipeline include Stephen Fung’s Tai Chi to star Jet Li.
Chinese film studio Huayi Brothers Media is investing in production house Diversion Pictures, previously set up by Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu (Hot Summer Days) and actor/director Stephen Fung (House of Fury, Jump).
Huayi will be a major shareholder of the company and will have first-look rights of Diversion Pictures’ production projects in the next five years. The first film under Huayi and Diversion’s partnership will be the Jet Li starring and producing Tai Chi (working title), to be directed by Stephen Fung.
Daniel Wu will be president of Diversion Pictures and Stephen Fung as CEO.
“Being actors and directors for many years, we always wanted to have more control of our films. We hope that this company will realise this movie dream of ours,”said Wu and Fung in a statement.
“Huayi Brothers has set up the first case in China to sign with independent production companies. However, this model has existed in the US for a long time,” said Huayi Brothers Media chairman Wang Zhongjun.
“We hope our relationship with Huayi Brothers will develop into a partnership like that of Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers,” added Wu and Fung.
Diversion Pictures is the second production company to attract investment from Huayi Brothers. Late last year, Huayi Brothers invested in Taipei-based production and distribution firm Atom Cinema, also starting a first-look deal for Atom Cinema’s production projects. The two companies are now co-producing Tom Lin’s Starry Starry Night.
According to Stephen Fung, Diversions aims to produce two to three films a year and will focus on producing films of contemporary settings and about young people’s lifestyles, for young Chinese moviegoers.