Netflix Acquires Chinese Fantasy Film 'The Yin Yang Master'

'The Yin Yang Master'
Courtesy of Netflix

'The Yin Yang Master'

The Chinese tentpole is adapted from a video game based on the hit Japanese fantasy book 'Onmyoji.' It will open theatrically in China on Friday during the Lunar New Year holiday, before rolling out on Netflix worldwide at a later date.

Netflix has picked up international streaming rights to Chinese fantasy feature The Yin Yang Master, one of the major titles set for release during China's upcoming Lunar New Year box office bonanza.

The film is an adaptation of the popular Chinese role-playing game Onmyoji, which is itself based on the blockbuster fantasy novel of the same name by Japanese author by Baku Yumemakura.

Netflix acquired global streaming rights to the film, excluding China, from Beijing-based producer and distributor Huayi Brothers Media. Netflix has yet to announce a streaming release date for the film, but it opens theatrically in China on Friday, having already sold over $3 million worth of advanced tickets.

Directed by Li Weiran (Love Will Tear Us Apart, Welcome to Shamatown), the new adaptation stars Chen Kun (Mojin: The Lost Legend) and Zhou Xun (Cloud Atlas, Painted Skin).

Netflix's summary for the title reads: In The Yin Yang Master, the world is on the verge of a devastating war with the monsters who are coming back to retrieve the Scaling Stone. Yin Yang Master Qingming (Chen Kun)'s life is in danger and he travels to different worlds to prepare for the upcoming assaults. On his journey, Qingming finds that the key to all the calamities is embracing his hybrid identity of both human and monster. In the film, we see Chen Kun and Zhou Xun’s characters Qingming and Bai Ni in a relationship. William Chan plays Ci Mu, portrays a sophisticated character that transforms from good to evil.

The Yin Yang Master shares its source material and portions of its title with another Netflix acquisition from China from just a couple months ago. The streamer acquired Chinese fantasy feature The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity in mid-December, and began streaming the title just last week. That version, starring Taiwanese heartthrob Mark Chao (Saturday Fiction), opened in China in late December and brought in more than $75 million until a plagiarism scandal involving its director, youth favorite Guo Jinming, began hurting its earnings.

The latest version was produced by Chen Kuo-fu and Chang Chia-lu, well known for their wildly successful Detective Dee franchise at Huayi Brothers. The creative team includes some veteran Japanese talent, such as production designer Yoshihito Akatsuka (Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back, Kill Bill) and composer Shigeru Umebayashi (In the Mood for Love, The Grandmaster). Hong Kong fight choreography legend Nicky Li (Rush Hour, Shock Wave 2) oversaw the fight sequences.

"The film boasts grand visual effects and CGI production and re-creates a whole new interpretation of the classic Yin Yang Master story," Netflix said in a statement.