Spacey to star in 'Inseparable'
Dayyan Eng's film backed by Xinhua Media Entertainment
BEIJING -- When Kevin Spacey lands in China in late Jan. to star in writer-director Dayyan Eng's black comedy "Inseparable," he'll become the biggest Hollywood actor to work in a feature film nearly fully-financed by a local Chinese backer.
Start-up Fantawild Pictures, a subsidiary of the Shenzhen-based amusement park company the Hua Qiang Group, will fund more than 90% of the film's undisclosed budget, said producer David Lee, managing director of Xinhua Media Entertainment, the Beijing-based company working with Eng's Colordance Pictures.
Two-time Academy Award-winner Spacey ("American Beauty," "The Usual Suspects") will star as a mysterious American expatriate who befriends a young engineer with problems at work and at home, played by Daniel Wu ("Shinjuku Incident," "Overheard").
"Fantawild has been eyeing the feature film business for a long while, and they think this movie will help put them on the map," Lee told The Hollywood Reporter.
"Inseparable" began shooting in Mandarin and English in Guangzhou on Jan. 8, co-starring Gong Beibei as Wu's investigative reporter wife.
Gong previously worked in Chinese-American director Eng's 2005 romantic comedy "Waiting Alone," winner of the Best First Feature and Best Actor awards at the Beijing Film Festival.
Eng's 2001 short film, "Bus 44," drew honorable mentions at the Venice and Sundance film festivals.
"Inseparable" executive producers are Li Ming of Fantawild, Spacey and Dana Brunetti -- in association with Trigger Street Productions -- and Bill Block of QED International and Steven Squillante, a statement from XME said.
Fantawild's previous outings in filmed entertainment include an animated title called "Kung Fu Masters of the Zodiac," according to the company's Web site.
"We are proud to be a part of the team that shows a global audience that China can produce more than just period dramas and martial-arts pictures," Fredy Bush, CEO of XME's parent company, Nasdaq-listed Xinhua Media & Entertainment Ltd., said in a statement.
XME also helped to bring to China Jackie Chan's "The Spy Next Door" -- for nationwide release Jan. 15 -- and "More Than a Game," starring LeBron James, set to release in April.