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Escape Plan 2, the sequel to Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2013 prison-break thriller, is heading east.
Beijing-based Leomus Pictures and Emmett/Furla/Oasis have partnered to co-finance and make the film as a China-U.S. co-production.
Stallone has signed on to reprise his role as a prison security specialist, but Schwarzenegger’s return is still under discussion, a Leomus representative said. Miles Chapman, screenwriter on the first film, is back to script the sequel.
Given how the first film’s release went, deepening the sequel’s connection to China, the world’s number-two film market, would appear a smart move. With Leomus handling local marketing and distribution, the original Escape Plan earned $40.9 million in the Middle Kingdom — a large slice of its $137 million global haul and considerably more than the $25 million the film took in North America.
Escape Plan 2 is expected to feature some Chinese story elements to deepen its local resonance, Leomus said.
Leomus is a partner with Hunan TV in the Chinese broadcaster’s $375 million slate financing deal with Lionsgate, which began in 2015. The company has a track record of successfully localizing Hollywood fare. The company distributed Now You See Me and Now You See Me 2 in China, with the second film earning $97 million there — Lionsgate’s biggest total ever in the territory. As THR reported in July, Lionsgate and Leomus have partnered to co-produce a Chinese spinoff of Now You See Me.
EFO founders Randall Emmett and George Furla will return as producers on Escape Plan 2, along with Leomus CEO Jie Qiu and Mark Canton, Zack Schiller and Robbie Brenner. Ted Fox, Mark Stewart, Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb will executive produce with The Fyzz Facility’s Wayne Marc Godfrey and Robert Jones.
EFO recently wrapped principal photography on Gotti, directed by Kevin Connolly and starring John Travolta, as well as the Nicolas Cage-starrer Inconceivable. The company’s next release is Amityville: The Awakening on June 30 via The Weinstein Company.
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