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Universal Pictures is boarding Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut Man of Tai Chi, which will be shot in China and co-financed by Village Roadshow Pictures Asia, China Film Group, Wanda Media and Universal.
Reeves, who also will co-star in the martial arts pic, has been in talks with Village Roadshow Asia and China Film Group for months regarding the project. Village Roadshow Asia’s affiliates will distribute Man of Tai Chi in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, by China Film Group and Wanda Media Group in China and by Universal in the rest of the world.
Man of Tai Chi reteams Reeves and Village Roadshow, which co-produced and co-financed The Matrix franchise with Warner Bros.
Set in contemporary Beijing, Man of Tai Chi headlines Tiger Chen, who was part of the kung fu team in The Matrix. In Man of Tai Chi, Chen stars as a young martial artist whose fighting skills brings him to a realm of vast opportunities, and painful choices.
Reeves, who is currently in China, will shoot the film in Mandarin and English, and is slated to start production in February.
“We are pleased to announce Man of Tai Chi under the Village Roadshow Pictures Asia label and to extend our long-standing relationship with Keanu,” Village Roadshow Entertainment Group CEO Glen Basser said.
Universal International president David Kosse said the opportunity to become further involved in the Chinese market, as well as to bring Chinese films to audiences around the world, is a priority for the studio. “Man of Tai Chi has an amazing pedigree of filmmakers and we’re thrilled to be a part of Keanu’s directorial debut,” he said.
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