Cannes: Huayi Bros. Takes China Rights to Jessica Chastain Spy Film '355'

'355' female stars - H 2018
Courtesy of THR

The female-fronted action thriller also stars Fan Bingbing, one of the biggest box-office draws in the Middle Kingdom, along with Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong'o.

Beijing-based Huayi Brothers Media has acquired Greater China distribution rights to female-fronted spy film 355, starring Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong'o and Fan Bingbing. The Chinese studio will also co-finance the film. 

A source close to the deal pegged the price tag at $20 million, the same sum that Universal is said to have paid for North American rights.  FilmNation sold out the title in Cannes, closing major territory deals including with Germany (Tele Munchen Group), Italy (Leone), Canada (Entertainment One), Australia (Roadshow Films), Spain and Latin America (Sun Distribution), Scandinavia (Nordisk) and Japan (Kino Films).

The James Bond-like action thriller is among the buzziest projects in Cannes this year, thanks to the star power of the five leading ladies, each bringing in a fan base from a disparate box-office territory. Crucially for Huayi Bros, Fan is one of the largest box-office draws in the Middle Kingdom, the world's soon-to-be-biggest theatrical market. 

Simon Kinberg is set to direct from a script to be written by Theresa Rebeck (Catwoman). The plot is said to revolve around five spies from agencies around the world who form their own team, dubbed 355. 

Freckle Films’ Chastain and Kelly Carmichael will produce 355 alongside Simon Kinberg of Kinberg Genre.

CAA Media Finance and CAA China brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales.