Renny Harlin Launches Production Company in China
The veteran action director has lived and worked in China for the past two years, and his upcoming Jackie Chan film 'Skiptrace' is due out next month.
Renny Harlin is setting up shop in the Middle Kingdom.
The Hollywood director — best known for the 1990s action hits Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger — has secured local financing for a new production company based in Beijing, where he has lived and worked for the past two years.
Named Midnight Sun Pictures (the same label Harlin has used for his Los Angeles-based banner), the Chinese company will develop Chinese projects and Chinese-international co-productions with an emphasis on genre titles and action tentpoles.
"The goal is to nurture Chinese talent and stories for this huge Chinese domestic market and the international market, when the content is suitable," Harlin tells THR. "From my background, perhaps I can help filmmakers here make the slight adjustments that will make their movies a little easier for international audiences to embrace."
Harlin received an undisclosed amount of financial backing from Jiabo Culture Group, a Beijing-based creative consortium. He is in the process of hiring a development team. Jiabo will get a first look at the projects that emerge from Midnight Sun, but co-production and distribution partners will be decided on a case-by-case basis, the director said.
The announcement was made Tuesday in Shanghai during the 19th Shanghai International Film Festival.
Harlin's latest film, comedy-action pic Skiptrace, starring Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville, premiered earlier in the week at the Shanghai fest. It is set to open July 22 in Chinese theaters and Sept. 2 in North America.
At a glitzy presentation on Monday in Shanghai, Harlin revealed that he is set to direct his second Chinese film, an adaptation of the popular Chinese video game Legend of the Ancient Sword, for Alibaba Pictures.