Imax and CJ Join James Cameron's 'Imperial City, Beijing'

An Imax theater in Santa Monica

The large-format theater operator and the Korean conglomerate become the latest partners in the 3-D historical epic about the Chinese capital.

The latest partnership for Imperial City, Beijing was announced at a press launch on Sunday at the Beijing Film Market.

The shoot is slated to begin in May, according to a press statement. French directors Yann Arthus (Home) and Jacques Perrin (Oceans) are also in talks with producers to join the project, according to Pegasus & Taihe president Sun Jianjun.

Speaking at the launch, CJ’s film division head Jung Tae-sung said the project signals the company’s latest foray into China – a venture now seen on the country’s screens with A Wedding Invitation, a CJ-backed co-production directed by Korean director Oh Ki-hwan and starring mainland Chinese actress Bai Baihe and Taiwan’s Eddie Peng.

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The Korean company’s CGV cinema chain also operates 12 cineplexes in China, with its Beijing office development director Li Baoyu telling the China Daily last year of plans to open 100 more sites across the country by 2015.

The chain had signed a deal with Imax China last year securing 15 more large-format screens to its sites. There are currently more than 110 Imax screens in the country.

Also present at the launch, Discovery Networks Asia vice-president Zhang Fang said the channel is in discussion to join Imperial City.

Initiated by Pegasus & Taihe, the feature first came into the spotlight last August, when James Cameron and Vince Pace launched Cameron Pace Group (China) and signed a memorandum for the project during a visit to Beijing.

The agreement would see Cameron Pace provide 3-D technical support and production for the film, according to information provided by Pegasus & Taihe.

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