Shanghai Film Fest: Village Roadshow, Warner Bros. to Co-Produce 'Zhong Kui'

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Li Bingbing

The fantasy film is set for a Chinese New Year release.

Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Warner Bros. will team up to co-finance and co-produce Desen International Media’s 3-D Chinese fantasy film Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal.

The film is now in production and is set for release on Feb. 19, Chinese New Year, a big date for moviegoers.

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The film is directed by Zhao Tianyu (The Law of Attraction, Deadly Delicious) and stars Chen Kun (The Painted Skin, The Painted Skin 2, Bends) and Li Bingbing, who appeared in Detective Dee and Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Winston Chao, Yang Zishan, Bao Bei-er and Jike Junyi are also starring.

Ann An (Ip Man 2, Tiny Times, Tiny Times 2) and Oscar-winning cinematographer Peter Pau (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Forbidden Kingdom) are producing. Pau will also be cinematographer on the movie and supervise visual effects.

Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal is an action-packed fantasy adventure, with dramatic twists and turns and a compelling love story at its core,” said An. “With an incredible team of international talent both onscreen and behind the camera, we’re confident that Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal will become a modern classic of Chinese cinema.”

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Village Roadshow and Warner Bros will have a “significant participation” in the film's global revenues, including those earned in Mainland China, Village Roadshow said at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

Village Roadshow Pictures Asia will have distribution rights in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, and Warner Bros. Pictures will handle distribution in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Beijing Enlight Pictures has also joined the project as a co-financier and China co-distributor.

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Other Chinese co-financiers include Kun’s production company K. Pictures and Shenzhen-based Wu’s Entertainment.

Shot in various scenic locations in China, Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal tells the story of legendary Chinese anti-hero Zhong Kui, a young man endowed with mysterious powers who is forced into a battle among the realms of Heaven, Earth and Hell in the course of his attempt to save his countrymen and the woman he loves.

Also taking part is composer Javier Navarrete, action choreographer Jacky Yeung, production designer Kenneth Mak, costume designer Shirley Chan and editor David Wu.