China Film Group on board 'Incident'

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BEIJING -- The China Film Group Corp. will co-produce Jackie Chan's "The Shinjuku Incident," a drama about Chinese in Japan that will begin shooting in Tokyo in November, Solon So, senior vp of Chan's company, JCE, said Wednesday from Hong Kong.

The film will be co-written and directed by Derek Yee, director of the police drama "Protege," the highest-earning Chinese-language boxoffice hit on the mainland this year.

"Shinjuku" will cost more than $15 million to make, topping the budget for Hong Kong comic and martial arts legend Chan's last co-production with state-run CFG, the action adventure film "The Myth," directed by Stanley Tong in 2005.

Sources close to "Shinjuku" said the script has Chan in a dramatic lead in which his character is involved in gang life.

JCE's So would not comment on the script, saying only, "It's too early to reveal what the whole story is about."

Daniel Wu, who starred in "Protege," is being considered as a co-star for Chan in "Shinjuku," So said, adding that it will be several weeks before the rest of the cast members are confirmed.

An assistant to Wu said his participation in the film will depend on his full recovery from a recent injury.

CFG chairman Han Sanping will oversee the film's mainland shooting and also will likely lead its mainland distribution, albeit with other distribution partners. "Discussions are ongoing," So said.

Emperor Motion Pictures will handle international distribution, Hong Kong-based EMP's CEO Albert Lee said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Chan currently is shooting "The Forbidden Kingdom," a $70 million picture based on the tale of the Monkey King from the Chinese classic "Journey to the West," directed by Rob Minkoff and co-starring Jet Li (HR 7/16).

"Protege," which co-starred Andy Lau, was released Feb. 13 and, by the time it closed, earned 63.6 million yuan ($8.4 million) on the mainland and HK$26.5 ($3.4 million) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Zone, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles- and Hong Kong-based co-producer the Ruddy Morgan Organization said.

Saul Symonds contributed to this report from Hong Kong.
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