Dead Talents Society

Source: Activator

‘Dead Talents Society’

John Hsu’s long-awaited Dead Talents Society is set for a summer release, with an official opening date scheduled for August 7 in Taiwan.

Starring Chen Bo-lin, Sandrine Pinna and Gingle Wang, the supernatural comedy is backed by Sony Pictures International, which also handles worldwide distribution, and Taiwan’s Activator. Taiwan is the first territory to be dated and will be released through Sony Pictures Releasing Taiwan.

The story follows how veteran ghosts need to train a newcomer to become the next superstar among the dead. “Every ghost is trying to be the best of the best in an over-populated and competitive society, like in showbusiness,” director Hsu told Screen. “It’s a satire on the horror genre and also a coming-of-age story about ghosts having to be scary and famous enough among the livings to keep themselves from perishing.”

The film has been almost four years in the making, including two years of script development. Principal photography began in late 2022, while post-production lasted a further year because of the intensity of editing and amount of VFX shots.

Taipei-based Activator was launched as a film marketing company before venturing into production with 2020’s I Weirdo, which was distributed by Sony in Taiwan and became a local box office success.

“Apart from selling to international streamers on an exclusive basis, theatrical distribution for Taiwanese films has not been easy in international markets,” said Activator general manager Ivy Chen. “We believe that Dead Talents Society, which combines the comedy genre with ghost elements, can cross borders and overcome language barriers. With international distribution by Sony, it means audiences around the world will get the chance to watch the film in cinemas.”

Producers are Lee Lieh, Aileen Li and Chen. Veteran actress-producer Lee previously produced Hsu’s directorial feature debut Detention, a 2019 horror feature adapted from a popular video game that also stars Wang and won five Golden Horse Awards including best new director for Hsu.