Filmmaker Zhang Yimou has joined Beijing-based studio Le Vision Pictures as creative director.
Zhang is also establishing an online video production fund at Le Vision’s sister company, the online distribution platform LeTV.com, which aims to create content and discover filmmaking talent.
In addition, Zhang’s past works will be made available in a special section on SuperTV, the smart television sets that LeTV is introducing to the China market next month.
At a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday, Le Vision Pictures CEO Zhang Zhao described the cooperation as a step towards “bringing the Chinese movie industry into the internet era”.
Zhang Yimou said that “cooperating with LeVision’s energetic, young team allows for a new page to be turned in life’s exercise book, along with a new start to the next phase of my own life.”
Speculation has been rife about Zhang Yimou’s next move following his well-publicised split last year with long-term producing partner Zhang Weiping and his Beijing New Picture Film Co.
Le Vision’s production credits include Chinese-language films such as The Bullet Vanishes and the company also distributed The Expendables 2, which grossed more than $50m in China.
Last month, Le Vision also announced a joint venture with US-based Radical Studios to produce international films with Chinese elements. The first project from the joint venture is a sci-fi actioner, The Clans Of Sacred Stones, inspired by ancient Chinese literature.