Two Jackie Chan Projects Unveiled by China's Huayi Brothers

Jackie Chan TIFF arrivals - P 2013
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Jackie Chan TIFF arrivals - P 2013

A New York-set action thriller and a desert-set war epic are among the movies announced at a press conference in Shanghai.

SHANGHAI – Jackie Chan’s successful collaboration with Chinese studio Huayi Brothers will continue later this year with the production of two more films – with one set in New York and the other in the vast deserts of rural China.

Hot on the heels of the success of CZ12, the action comedy which generated $138 million at the mainland Chinese box office earlier this year, Chan will be producing and starring in the tentatively titled Manhattan, a film which sees the Hong Kong star playing “a dark hero” who “converses with love and hate,” according to a statement released at a press conference in Shanghai on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Wolf Flag (a tentative Chinese title for the second project) will see Chan star in a “mournful ode concealed in the stricken desert.” Both films are slated for release in 2014.

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The two projects were unveiled in a lavish event taking place in Shanghai a day prior to the beginning of the film market at the city’s annual international film festival.

Part of a slate of upcoming projects that Huayi Brothers dubbed “The H Files,” the two Jackie Chan films are joined by the previously announced Fury, the Brad Pitt starrer directed by David Ayer and co-produced by the studio and QED.

Announced Saturday were new films by Taiwan’s Doze Niu (a historical dramedy with the Chinese title Playground in the Army), Hong Kong’s Mabel Cheung and Alex Law (the wartime-set drama A Tale of Three Cities) and mainland China’s Gu Changwei (a contemporary romance Literary Love in the Age of WebChat).

Huayi Brothers also announced its involvement as investor and distributor of the next installment of the hit homegrown animation franchise Pleasant Goat and the Big Bad Wolf.

Meanwhile, Huayi Brothers also confirmed release dates for their 2013 films, with Tsui Hark’s Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragons slated to open in China on Sept. 28 and Kenneth Bi’s Control on Nov. 18.

Feng Xiaogang’s Personal Tailor makes its bow on Dec. 19. The film will mark the director’s return to comedy after the lackluster reception his historical epic Back to 1942 received last year. Initial footage of Personal Tailor, which stars longtime Feng collaborator Ge You and China’s rom-com queen du jour Bai Baihe, was shown at the press conference on Sunday.

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The Impossible, the Huayi-distributed Naomi Watts tsunami drama that has had its opening pushed back several times already, will finally open on Aug. 22, the company also announced on Sunday.

Speaking at the press briefing, Huayi Brothers' CEO Wang Zhongjun said he is confident the company will retain its position as the top-earning studio in China and break its 2012 box-office record of $342.5 million (2.1 billion yuan) by taking total earnings of $489.3 million (3 billion yuan) in 2013.