Shanghai: Renny Harlin to Direct Chinese Thriller 'The Hanging Coffin'

Joe Pugliese
Renny Harlin in Beijing

The film will be the Hollywood veteran turned Beijing transplant's third Chinese-language feature.

Veteran Hollywood director turned Beijing mainstay Renny Harlin has secured his next Chinese movie project.

The Finnish filmmaker has signed on to helm The Hanging Coffin for Shanghai Film Group and Shanghai New Wave Films. Described as an action adventure-cum-thriller featuring extreme sports, tomb raiding and mutant creatures, the script was penned by Tony Jaswinski, the emerging Los Angeles-based screenwriter behind Blake Lively's shark horror hit The Shallows (2016).

Although it will be primarily in Chinese, the film is expected to star both Hollywood and Chinese talent, with casting announcements to be made in the coming months, according to the production partners.

The project was announced Sunday during the first full day of the Shanghai International Film Festival.

Best known in Hollywood for his 1990s action hits like Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger, 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 in the Middle Kingdom — Harlin decided to fully relocate to Beijing to further explore opportunities in the growing Chinese industry.

Harlin's second Chinese feature, the fantasy-martial arts film Legend of the Ancient Sword for Jack Ma's Alibaba Pictures, has already completed shooting and is due to hit theaters later this year.

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