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Terence Chang, John Woo’s longtime partner who helped the Hong Kong director make the jump to Hollywood, has boarded a Canada-China crime thriller.
Chang, whose producing output includes Face/Off and Mission Impossible 2, is developing the Mandarin-language feature, The Eddie Zhao Story, based on the true-life story of a Chinese peasant who chased an American conman to Los Angeles before becoming an American private investigator. The development deal was unveiled Thursday at the Whistler Film Festival.
Chang’s Mannix Pictures, based in Hong Kong, will co-produce the indie with Canada’s Massey Productions, with production set for fall 2016 in China, Canada and the U.S, ahead of a 2017 release. Johnny To’s Hairun Pictures in 2012 was first tapped to develop The Eddie Zhao Story, based on a script by Guy Bennett (Punch), with Massey co-producing.
But that development deal fell through, and Chang has now come on board. Bennett will pass his original English language script to Beijing-based screenwriter Na Jin (Apart Together). The feature will then be produced from a Mandarin-language script with a Chinese cast and director still to be named.
Beijing-based Mei Ah Media, which will release the biopic in China, is jointly financing the project with Shanghai Ocean Sound Film Co. The producers are expecting their biggest box office in mainland China.
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