Jackie Chan to direct action adventure Chinese Zodiac and Tsui Hark plans Detective Dee sequel.
Chinese production powerhouse Huayi Brothers Media today unveiled a slate of nine films including Tai Chi (working title), which will star and be produced by Jet Li and will be directed by Stephen Feng; Indiana Jones style action adventure, Chinese Zodiac, to be directed by Jackie Chan and produced by Stanley Tong with co-producers Emperor Motion Pictures; and Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee sequel.
Announcing the slate as the company’s High Hope projects, Huayi Brothers CEO Wang Zhonglei said the main aims of High Hope are working across diverse genres and collaborating with new directors. Huayi Brothers is well known for producing Feng Xiaogang’s Chinese blockbusters such as Aftershock and the If You Are the One franchise. The 2011 slate is seen as Huayi’s attempt to shift its dependence away from Feng Xiaogang’s films.
In addition to Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee sequel, Huayi will produce two other sequels, Painted Skin 2 to be directed by Wuershan (The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman) and the previously reported Love in Space, the sequel to Hot Summer Days, to be co-produced with Fox International and Hong Kong’s Sundream Motion Pictures.
Huayi will collaborate with Hong Kong Mandarin Pictures on director Ronny Yu’s historic action drama Generals of the Yang Family (working title) with Raymond Wong producing.
Two Taiwanese filmmakers will also join Huayi Brothers High Hope projects. Doze Niu (Monga) will direct a romantic comedy titled Love, about three romances between Taiwan and mainland China. Tom Lin (Winds of September) will direct his second feature Starry Starry Night. Adapted from Taiwanese author Jimmy Liao’s popular illustrated book, the film is a co-production between Huayi and Taipei-based Atomic Cinema and will start shooting next month.
Huayi will also invest on Hong Kong Pang Ho-cheung’s new romantic comedy Spoiled Women Are Happiest (working title), which is adapted from a Taiwanese best-selling book.
Wang Zhonglei also said that Huayi’s slate also includes an untitled Feng Xiaogang project, which is likely to be a social drama about a Chinese famine in 1942, scheduled to starting shooting in October.
Among the nine announced projects, Tai Chi, Chinese Zodiac and Generals of the Yang Family are blockbuster projects with budgets set at $15m (RMB100m) or above.
Painted Skin 2, Starry Starry Night and Love in Space will be released in 2011 while the rest projects have release dates set before the end of 2012.