Avi Arad Teams With Bruno Wu to Develop Chinese Superhero Franchises

Bruno Wu - P 2012
Da Xiong

The first feature film under the deal will be "Rise of the Terracotta," inspired by the legendary Terracotta Army sculptures.

Bruno Wu's Beijing-based Seven Stars Entertainment -- promoting U.S.-China co-productions -- is teaming with Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad to develop a slate of superhero franchise properties inspired by Chinese history and mythology.

The first project will be feature film Rise of the Terracotta, based on an original idea by Arad and inspired by the story behind China's legendary Terracotta Army sculptures, created to protect the country's first emperor in his afterlife.

The deal will also encompass animated television series.

Arad, whose more recent producing credits include The Amazing Spider-Man, left Marvel in 2006 to form Arad Productions.

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“Avi is a copious producer of fantasy, superheroes and sci-fi as well as one of the world’s top toy designers,” said Wu. “I think it’s important to provide the next generation with role models and Avi is the ideal partner to bring this Chinese myth to life in a multi-media environment, including a major Chinese-U.S. co-production tentpole movie.”

Arad added: “Bruno and I share an affinity for Chinese history and culture and his knowledge will help guide me through this fascinating world of Chinese mythology. We are excited to introduce a new set of superheroes and other wonders of the world in a contemporary way to the Chinese youth and audiences around the world.”

Wu and Arad will serve as producers on the projects, while Alexandra Bland from Arad Productions will executive produce.

The deal was negotiated by Seven Stars CEO Fred Milstein.