Korean FX firms get keys to 'Kingdom'


BEIJING -- In the latest example of pan-Asian filmmaking cooperation, Korean visual effects artists will aid Jackie Chan and Jet Li as they battle it out in the Hollywood-China co-production "The Forbidden Kingdom."

Seoul-based firms Macrograph, DTI, and Footage have been tapped to add visual effects to the $70 million action fantasy based on Chinese lore, which wrapped principal photography Wednesday, a publicist for the film said.

Backed by Relativity Media and produced by Lionsgate, Casey Silver Prods. and Beijing-based independent Huayi Brothers, the Rob Minkoff-helmed film shot over 17 weeks in five locations around China.

Set for release in 2008, Lionsgate will handle distribution in English-language territories. Huayi will distribute in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and Relativity will handle the rest of the globe.

Huayi also recently worked with a Korean crew in shooting the battle scenes for director Feng Xiaogang's "The Assembly," set to premiere at the Pusan International Film Festival in October (HR 8/30).