Netflix Acquires Chinese Fantasy Feature 'Super Me'

Courtesy of Netflix

Marvel mainstays Joe and Anthony Russo were once attached to the high-concept film as executive producers, but later stepped back from the project.

Netflix has picked up international streaming rights to Chinese film Super Me, a high-concept fantasy feature combining elements of comedy, romance and thriller.

Super Me is set for a wide theatrical release in China on Friday. Netflix, which hasn't unveiled a streaming date for the film yet, took all worldwide rights outside China, Yugoslavia and India.

Written and directed by Chong Zhang, Super Me stars Taiwanese actor Darren Wang (also known as Wang Talu) as a struggling screenwriter who's driven to insomnia by financial stress and deadlines, only to discover that he possesses the magical ability to bring objects from his troubled dreams back to reality. Soon this power allows him to become fantastically rich, attracting the attention of his longtime love interest (played by Song Jia) — as well as a dangerous gangster (Wu Gang) who's bent on exploiting him.

The film has had a lengthy journey to screen. U.S. director duo Joe and Anthony Russo, of Marvel fame, were once attached to the title as executive producers, back when they were working to set up a Chinese production banner in 2016 and 2017. The brothers sent a video message to a press event held in Beijing in late 2016, saying they were wowed by Zhang's script and "very excited" to support the project. But the duo later stepped back from the project, as well as other Chinese production ambitions.

Zhang carried on with the film, with Shanghai companies Hehe Pictures, Baima Film and Black Ant Entertainment producing. The project ran into several release delays, though, resulting in Zhang's second feature, The Fourth Wall, co-directed by Bo Zhang, opening in 2019, years ahead of Super Me, which had been envisioned as his feature debut. Super Me has popped up at a number of international festivals over the years, including at both the Sitges International Film Festival and Paris International Fantastic Film Festival in 2019, followed by the Shanghai International Film Festival in August 2020. No major international outlets have reviewed the film yet.

Beijing's media regulators don't allow Netflix — nor any other non-Chinese streaming service — to operate within mainland China's borders. But the streamer has made a habit of picking up commercially viable Chinese film titles for the large Chinese diaspora audience. Past Mandarin-language pickups have included the sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth, teen thriller Animal World, romantic drama Us and Them and the 2021 Chinese New Year title The Yin Yang Master.