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Walt Disney Pictures has entered a long-term partnership with startup Taiwanese production company Wudi Pictures to co-develop live-action films targeting the massive Chinese movie market.
The partners already have collaborated on the development of romantic comedy Miss Taken, starring Chinese A-lister Jelly Lin (The Mermaid, Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back) and Chen Bolin (Chinese Zodiac). The project, co-produced by Walt Disney Studios China, Shanghai Artrendwave Productions and Shanghai Media Group Pictures, is currently in postproduction and will be released in China in the second half of 2017.
Wudi Pictures was founded in 2016 by veteran Taiwanese producer Maxx Tsai (Miss Granny, Silent Code). Aside from the Disney deal, the company has an agreement with Hunan TV to produce a Chinese-language television drama that will begin shooting later this year.
Disney’s long-gestating local-language film production plans for China are beginning to take shape. Just last week, the studio struck a two-year deal with Beijing-based Jiaxing Media (aka Jay Walk Studios) to co-develop an undefined number of live-action films for China. Jiaxing’s romantic comedy Mr. Pride vs. Miss Prejudice is currently on release in China; it has earned just shy of $20 million to date.
Last week, Disney also held the world premiere for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales at the Shanghai Disney Resort, marking the first time that a major Hollywood movie made its debut in the Middle Kingdom.
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Lisa Marie Presley