'Blood Simple' remake set for December

Zhang's take on Coen Brothers' film his first since 2006

BEIJING -- Chinese director and Beijing Olympics ceremony designer Zhang Yimou's adaptation of the Coen brothers 1984 classic "Blood Simple" is set to premiere in December during the peak holiday moving going season, local media reported Friday.

"Amazing Tales: Three Guns" stars actor Sun Honglei, the lead in Chen Kaige's 2008 film "Forever Enthralled," and comic Xiao Shenyang, among the biggest television stars in China since he soared to fame after his appearance on China Central Television's Spring Festival Gala earlier this year.

The film, which cost 80 million yuan ($11.7 million) to make this summer, will premiere on Dec. 11, the Xinhua news agency said, citing the film's producer and distributor, Beijing New Picture Film Co.  The company could not be reached for comment.

The thriller, which reportedly preserves the Coen brothers' brand of dark humor, tells of a spendthrift noodle shop owner who hires a hit man to murder his wife and her lover in the desserts of northwest China's Gansu province.

The film's first official trailer hit cinemas on Thursday, the penultimate day of the Beijing Screenings, a Chinese film sales showcase ending Friday.

Sony Pictures Classics, is working with Zhang to co-produce and distribute the film in North America, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. SPC has released 10 of his films previously.

Zhang's last film, "Curse of the Golden Flower," was released in 2006, distributed outside China by Sony Pictures Classics, and grossed roughly $78 million worldwide. Costing $45 million, it was the most expensive Chinese film production at the time, though last year's "Red Cliff" overtook that total.