Filmart First Look: Renny Harlin Readies 'Legend of the Ancient Sword' for Alibaba Pictures (Exclusive Image)

Alibaba Pictures
'Legend of the Ancient Sword'

The adventure movie is an adaptation of Gu Jian Qi Tan, a hit Chinese role-playing game with heavy influences from wuxia.

Finnish director Renny Harlin is going full martial arts fantasy mode in The Hollywood Reporter's exclusive first-look image of his next Chinese action flick, Legend of the Ancient Sword.

Produced by Jack Ma's growing film studio Alibaba Pictures, the adventure movie is an adaptation of Gu Jian Qi Tan, a hit Chinese role-playing game with heavy influences from wuxia. The film stars Leehom as Yue Wuyi, a young student of "Yanjia," a lost martial arts form involving both mechanics and magical power. Yue sets out from his hometown to find Yanjia's greatest master, and along the way he meets Wen Renyu (pop star turned actress, Victoria Song), Xia Yize (Taiwanese actor Godfrey Gao) and Ah Yuan (Hong Kong's Karena Ng). Together they discover the schemes and conspiracies of Chen Ye, the grand priest of Liu Yue City. The group must fight to assemble the lost pieces of the most powerful weapon, the Sword of Enlightenment, and prevent a disaster from befalling the world.

Best known in Hollywood for his 1990s action hits Die Hard 2 and Cliff Hanger, Harlin directed last year's Jackie Chan action comedy vehicle Skiptrace, co-starring Johnny Knoxville. After that project went well — it earned $136.6 million — Harlin decided to fully relocate to Beijing to further explore opportunities in the booming Chinese industry.

"This image is a wide shot of one of the biggest scenes, the auction house," says Ben Zhang, Alibaba Pictures' executive producer of Legend of the Ancient Sword. "It took us a few months to build this set — it was massive."

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