China's Bona Readies 3D Debut for 2012

Nasdaq-listed Chinese studio could also use 3D for its upcoming 'Three Kingdoms' film.

SINGAPORE – China’s Bona Film Group is eyeing 3D for its upcoming project Three Kingdom: Jing Zhou, a 200 million yuan ($31 million) adaptation of the famed chapter in classic literature Romance of the Three Kingdoms, to be directed by television director Gao Xixi and slated for 2012, Bona founder and CEO Yu Dong told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday.

The company is launching its 3D debut this Christmas, director Tsui Hark’s $35 million epic Flying Swords of Dragon Inn, with Jet Li in the lead.

Yu, the key speaker at ScreenSingapore’s 3D seminar alongside Avatar producer Jon Landau, stated that China’s 5000 years of literature and mythology are resources enough for hundreds of movies. Besides taking a leaf out of Chinese classics, the Nasdaq-listed film conglomerate plans to take a share of the worldwide box office pie with co-productions with Hollywood studios.

“Hollywood studios want to work with Chinese studios on co-productions to get around the film quota into China. But for us, if it’s only for the Chinese market, why do we need to work with them? For a mutually beneficial goal, we are talking with Hollywood studios on English-language co-productions with Chinese elements for worldwide release, not only in China,” Yu says. “It’s the fastest way for Chinese films to enter the international marketplace.”

Bona has set plans to establish an office in Los Angeles within this year to focus on the Sino-US co-productions. “Details are being negotiated with the major studios, but we have three basic conditions: the story and content is related to China; Chinese actors have to play major roles; and most importantly, the Chinese characters mustn’t be villains, which might offend Chinese audiences.”