Chinese entertainment giants Shanda Interactive and Hunan Broadcasting and Television Group have formed a joint venture that will invest $87.8m (RMB600m) in film and TV production.

The joint venture will also engage in other related businesses such as agency services.

Its first project will be a remake of TV series, Princess Huanzhu, which was a national hit from 1998 to 2001 and helped raise the stardom of actors such as Zhao Wei, Fan Bingbing and Huang Xiaoming. It will also produce a film adapted from Xing Chen Bian (Evolution Of Beginnings), one of the most popular novels from Shanda’s online literature site, Shanda Literature.

Shanda is a major player in China’s huge online games industry, producing popular multi-player role-playing games and advanced casual online games in mainland China. 

The joint venture marks a further step by Shanda into film and TV production. In 2007, Shanda Literature sold the film rights of Gui Chui Deng (Ghost Blows Out The Candle) to Shanghai-based Meridian Pictures. 

In June 2009, during the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), Shanda established the Online Literature Market, a new sidebar of SIFF’s film market, SIFFMart. During the event, Shanda sold the film rights of four online novels, including Sober Sin At 25, to Xian Film Studio.

Hunan TV is China’s top provincial broadcaster, known for producing the successful reality TV singing contest Super Girl.

“Our partnership with Hunan TV’s first class production team will combine the best aspects of traditional and new media to create new and exciting content that I believe will entertain people around the world,” said Shanda chairman and CEO Tianqiao Chen.