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Chinese actress Li Bingbing, of Transformers: Age of Extinction fame, has signed on to star in Nest, an English-language 3D sci-fi film from Australian director Kimble Rendall.
Li will also serve as a producer on the Chinese-Australian co-production, which is being repped by Darclight, the genre film spinoff of Arclight Films, based in Sydney and Los Angeles.
According to the company, Nest revolves around a team of scientists who lose a colleague in an ancient labyrinth while trying to make the discovery of a century. The group must battle their way through a swarm of deadly, man-eating funnel web spiders and discover the secret behind the insects’ power and intelligence.
Rendall, best known for his second unit direction work on the Matrix films, made his directorial debut in 2012 with Arclight’s Australia-China co-production Bait 3D, which became a modest hit in China, grossing $25 million.
The film’s special effects are being handled by Australia-based Rising Sun Pictures, whose past projects include X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Great Gatsby. The film has begun pre-production on Australia’s Gold Coast.
“We are excited to be working with the extremely talented Li Bingbing again, who is already a superstar in China and has a very broad appeal worldwide, winning over the hearts of audiences as well as top box-office numbers,” said Ying Ye, managing director of Easternlight, Arclight’s Asian film-focused subsidiary, and one of the film’s producers.
The China production partner on the project is Loongs United Investment Company Ltd. Founded in 2010, Loongs is a Beijing-based company involved in various film and TV investments in the country. It handled the Chinese distribution of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Jason Statham‘s Redemption, among other projects.
Bingbing is in the midst of navigating a China-Hollywood crossover, following her leading roles in Transformers: Age of Extinction and Resident Evil: Retribution. The recent Chinese films she has starred in, such as Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame and Zhongkui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal, have been smash hits in the country.
She is repped by Darren Boghosian at UTA, Fundamental Management and attorney Karl Austen.
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