Huayi lands rights to 'Blood'
One of the first Asian deals announced at the American Film Market, the inaugural sale of the $10 million, 1930s-set Shanghai action movie marks John Woo's return to his native China as a producer, said Felice Bee, Huayi Brothers Features executive manager of sales and co-production.
"We are excited to be bringing the John Woo brand into China even if he isn't directing," Bee said, adding that early footage from shooting begun in Shanghai in October showed that director Alexi Tan, a Woo protege, will bring the veteran's spirit to the film.
"Blood Brothers" stars Taiwanese actress Shu Qi; her countryman Chang Chen; mainland China actor Liu Ye, who recently played opposite Meryl Streep in "Dark Matter"; and Hong Kong's Daniel Wu, one of the leads opposite Zhang Ziyi in Huayi Bros.' "The Banquet."
Bee said details of Huayi's deal for "Blood Brothers" were ironed out between Huayi CEO Wang Zhongjun and CMC with help from CMC adviser Ming Tu of 20th Century Fox at the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea in October.
Liao said that CMC and producer Terrence Chang were at AFM to get feedback on early footage from buyers but that they do not expect to make any other territory sales this outing.
"Blood Brothers" will finish shooting in December and CMC hopes to have an edited version set to show at Cannes in May.
CMC's first film production, director Su Chao-pin's "Silk," also is for sale at AFM. Now leading Taiwan's boxoffice with 200,000 admissions since Sept. 29, the science-fiction movie about a machine designed to capture ghosts, has garnered five nominations, including ones for best picture and best director at Taiwan's Golden Horse awards, presented in December.
CMC, which distributed "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," and "Brokeback Mountain" in Taiwan, will distribute "Blood Brothers" to the roughly 300 screens there in cooperation with 20th Century Fox.