Cannes: CMC Takes Michael Douglas Chinese Film 'Animal World'

Michael Douglas - 2017 44th Chaplin Award Gala - Getty - H 2018
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Directed by Han Yan and co-starring Li Yifeng, the movie is an adaptation of the hit Japanese manga 'Ultimate Survivor Kaiji.'

CMC Pictures, the international film distributor controlled by Li Ruigang’s China Media Capital Holdings, has acquired global distribution rights to Animal World, the forthcoming Chinese comic book movie co-starring Michael Douglas. CMC plans to give the film a worldwide release this summer.

Directed by Han Yan and co-staring Li Yifeng, the movie is an adaptation of the hit Japanese manga Ultimate Survivor Kaiji. Li stars as a shape-shifting vigilante clown battling an array of monsters in a shadowy big city. Douglas plays an icy villain.

Beijing-based Enlight Pictures is producing the film, which is set to get a major release in the Middle Kingdom on June 29.

Established in 2016 with support from the Chinese government, CMC has built a distribution network in 50 countries. The company says its presence is strongest in North America, Australia-New Zealand, the U.K., Germany and Southeast Asia.

“Our main target is still the Chinese diaspora audience living overseas, but over time we expect to build a substantial non-Chinese audience for Chinese films,” said CMC CEO Su Jia.

The company hopes Animal World will prove to be an overseas breakthrough. “We are going to do a wide, mainstream marketing campaign for Animal World,” Su said. “TV commercials, print, billboards, everywhere that will give Americans a chance to see that there are high-quality Chinese films produced from an international perspective.”

CMC handled international distribution on Chinese megablockbuster Wolf Warrior 2, which played in 35 countries, where it earned $7.8 million.

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 11 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.