Shanghai: Tencent Boards Zhang Yimou's 'Shadow'

Shadow Still 7 - H 2018
'Shadow' set photography by Xiaoyan Bai; Courtesy of Perfect Village Entertainment

Deng Chao and Sun Li co-star in Zhang Yimou's martial arts period epic Shadow. The film's visual style is said to be inspired by traditional Chinese ink painting. 

The Chinese internet giant will co-finance and throw its digital marketing muscle behind the film, which marks Yimou's much-anticipated return to the period martial arts genre.

Chinese internet giant Tencent is throwing its weight behind Zhang Yimou's upcoming action drama Shadow.

The tech and content company has joined co-producers Perfect Village Entertainment and Le Vision Pictures as a co-financier and digital marketing partner on the project. Tencent's participation was unveiled Saturday at the company's annual Tencent Night, held during the Shanghai International Film Festival.

Shadow is described as Zhang's reimagining of an epic story from China’s Three Kingdoms period. His first film since Legendary's The Great Wall, the project also marks Zhang's much-anticipated return to highly stylized martial arts filmmaking. The pic's look and camerawork are said to be inspired by classic Chinese inkbrush painting.

Currently in postproduction and set for release later this year, Shadow stars Deng Chao, Sun Li, Zheng Kai, Wang Qianyuan, Guan Xiaotong, Wu Lei, Hu Jun and Wang Jingchun.

The glitzy Tencent bash was held at the rooftop bar of Shanghai's House of Roosevelt on the Bund. 

"Tencent Pictures is honored and delighted to join forces with director Zhang Yimou, Perfect Village Entertainment and Le Vision Pictures to produce Shadow and proudly present it to audiences in China and around the world," Tencent Pictures CEO Edward Chen said in a statement. "Shadow's vision, passion and originality are completely in keeping with who we are as a company, and we take great pleasure in having this opportunity to commit our best people and all of our platforms and resources to the promotion and release of this year’s most highly anticipated Chinese blockbuster."

Perfect Village Entertainment CEO Ellen Eliasoph and Le Vision Pictures CEO Zhang Zhao were also on hand for the event to help unveil the film's official trailer and some previously unseen artwork. The partners also shared that Shadow's male lead, Deng Chao, performs two roles in the movie: that of an ailing general and his body double who has been trained in secret since childhood.

Endeavor Content and Bloom are representing worldwide distribution rights for Shadow outside of China.