Sequel to China's $700M Animated Hit 'Ne Zha' to Get U.S. Release (Exclusive)

Ne Zha Still 2 - 2019 H
Coloroom Studios

Well Go USA will release 'Jiang Ziya,' produced by Bejing Enlight Pictures, in North American theaters Feb. 7, shortly after its Chinese rollout.

The upcoming sequel to China's biggest film release of 2019 — fantasy animation Ne Zha — is heading to North America.

Well Go USA Entertainment will release Jiang Ziya, the second in a series of planned films from Beijing Enlight Pictures, in U.S. theaters Feb. 7.

Like its predecessor, Jiang Ziya is loosely based on the classic novel Investiture of the Gods (also known as Fengshen Yanyi), one of the most beloved and familiar texts in China. The sequel is the next step in what Beijing Enlight is calling its "Fengshen Cinematic Universe."

The studio's plans for the franchise got off to a roaring start in China with the release of Ne Zha in July 2019. Written and directed by first-time feature filmmaker Yang Yu (aka Jiao Zi), Ne Zha became China's blockbuster of the summer, earning a historic $720 million. It is China's second-highest earning film of all time, behind only Wolf Warrior 2.

Well Go released Ne Zha at select cinemas in North America in August. The film went on to earn $3.7 million, tiny compared with its home market, but a healthy sum for an imported Chinese title.

Jiang Ziya is directed by Cheng Teng and Li Wei and scheduled for release in China for the kickoff of the country's New Year holiday on Jan. 25.

The film follows the title character Jiang Ziya, a top commander in the divine army of the Kunlun Sect. Before Jiang Ziya can ascend to his new position among the Gods, he is ordered to execute the Nine-Tailed Fox Demon who threatens the mortal realm’s very existence. But when the Fox Demon shows him a dangerous secret, he is unable to complete his task, resulting in his banishment.

A specialist in bringing top Asian film titles — both art house and genre fare — to U.S. cinemas, Well Go's other recent releases have included Lee Chang-dong’s Burning, Zhang Yimou’s Shadow and Yuen Woo-Ping’s Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy.