STX, Channing Tatum and Tencent Pact for Chinese Tentpole 'Zombie Brother'

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One of the best-known digital properties in China, the online comic book has garnered more than 17 billion views over 348 episodes since 2011.

Robert Simonds’ STX Entertainment is partnering with China's Tencent Pictures and Channing Tatum’s Free Association are partnering to co-produce a big-budget Chinese film adaptation of Zombie Brother, the hit Chinese digital comics and animation property.

The franchise is one of the best-known digital properties online in China. Since 2011, the digital comic book has garnered more than 17 billion views over 348 episodes, and its animated series has attracted more than 3.7 billion views across its first two seasons. The franchise has also been adapted into a mobile game and a popular stage play. The latter has had a record-breaking run of sold-out shows across the region.

STXfilms will distribute the film in North America, while Tencent Pictures will handle the China release. Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Peter Kiernan and Michael Parets will produce for Free Association, and Edward Cheng, Howard Chen and Conor Zorn will produce for Tencent Pictures. STXfilms’ Chairman Adam Fogelson and head of production Sam Brown will oversee the film for the studio.

“With Tencent Pictures’ awesome ecosystem of entertainment channels and Free Association’s creative acumen, we think there is no end to the storytelling opportunities of this franchise,” said Fogelson, chairman of STXfilms. 

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with STX Entertainment on one of Tencent Animation and Comics’ excellent properties," said Cheng, vp Tencent and CEO of Tencent Pictures. "Teamed alongside our gifted producers at Free Association, we look forward to bringing Zombie Brother as a uniquely fun and fresh film for the enjoyment of audiences everywhere.” 

Added Peter Kiernan of Free Association: “We couldn’t imagine better partners as we continue to work with Edward, Howard and the wonderful Tencent team on this beloved property.” 

More to come...