Lionsgate to Release Chinese CGI Fantasy Film 'L.O.R.D.' in North America (Exclusive)
Directed by Chinese hitmaker Guo Jingming, the Le Vision Pictures film stars Fan Bingbing and Kris Wu and is presented entirely in motion capture CG.
Lionsgate is importing some cutting-edge Chinese young adult fantasy to North America.
The studio will release 31-year-old Chinese filmmaker Guo Jingming's fantasy feature L.O.R.D., starring Fan Bingbing, in cinemas across the U.S. and Canada on Sept. 30. The movie will open in China on the same day.
"Lionsgate appreciated the film's potential for YA audiences around the world," said a representative from Le Vision Pictures, the movie's producer, which is handling distribution in Greater China. "They felt it fit in well with their track record of success with films in this genre, such as the Hunger Games and Twilight franchises."
Lionsgate is understood to be a minority investor in the film and will also bring it out in the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand on Sept. 29. The movie will also set for release in Singapore and Thailand on Oct. 13, followed by Myanmar on Nov. 4. Le Vision declined to share the number of screens on which L.O.R.D. would open in the various territories.
An acronym for "Legend of the Ravaging Dynasties," L.O.R.D. is based on a best-selling series of YA novels written by Guo and released in 2010.
A writer-turned-director-turned-media mogul and celebrity, Guo is the creative force behind China's Tiny Times film franchise, which chronicles the life of aspiring, highfashion-obsessed young women in Shanghai. Produced on small budgets and released in a rapid clip between 2013 and 2015, the four films in the Tiny Times franchise collectively earned $291 million in China alone. The commercial feat was all the more impressive given that Guo had no directing experience prior to working on the first movie in the series.
Along with Fan, the new film features a slew of China's new young stars, such as Kris Wu, Yang Mi, Chen Xuedong and Wang Yuan.
"The foundation of this strategic partnership between Le Vision Pictures and Lionsgate is that we both want to help young Chinese producers and directors move forward into the global market, bringing the best original content to Generation Z (young people born after 1995)," said a rep for Le Vision.
L.O.R.D. also presents a technical first for the Chinese industry: although it features many of China's most famous faces, the film was shot and produced entirely in CG using motion-capture technology pioneered by James Cameron's Avatar.
The story is set in a world of mysterious sorcery that is split between four nations — Water, Wind, Earth and Fire. The story follows the adventures of young disciples of the seven top sorcerers who preside and fight evils forces within this imaginary realm.
Watch the first trailer for the film below.