WME Signs ‘The Mermaid’ Co-Writer Lu Zhengyu (Exclusive)

Lu Zheng Yu - P 2017
Courtesy of WME

The Chinese actor-filmmaker is a protégé of superstar director Stephen Chow.

WME has signed Chinese actor-filmmaker Lu Zhengyu, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned.

Lu is a protégé of Hong Kong-based superstar director Stephen Chow and served on the writing team for 2013’s Journey to the West and 2016’s The Mermaid, which at $527 million was China’s all-time highest-grossing film until that record was broken by Wolf Warrior 2 last month. Lu appeared onscreen in both Journey to the West and The Mermaid and served as executive director, a position similar to first assistant director in the U.S. but described as having more responsibilities.

In the vein of Chow’s own early masterpiece The God of Cookery, Lu recently made his directorial debut this year with The One, a cooking-themed comedy, which he wrote, starred in and produced via his banner A Hope Pictures, along with C2M Media and Tencent Pictures.

Lu first made a name for himself online, writing, directing and starring in the wacky comedy series Hip Hop Quartets, China’s first webseries to pass 100 million “clicks.” Its fifth season is now streaming on Youku.

WME will work with Lu and A Hope to identify and package film, television, commercial and digital projects in both the U.S. and China.

Last year, WME-IMG launched a joint venture in China with Sequoia Capital, Tencent and private equity investor Fountainvest Partners, and also negotiated client David Goyer’s film deal with Tencent. In June, the agency partnered with Village Roadshow and China’s Perfect World Pictures to form Perfect Village Entertainment, a new film and TV production company based in Beijing.