Sino Silver Screen: DC Superhero Romp 'Shazam!' Scores Apr 5 China Release

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This post comes courtesy of our content partners at China Film Insider.

‘Shazam!’ Scores Apr 5 China Release

DC superhero film Shazam! has been scheduled for release in China on Apr 5, the same day as in North America. The film tells the story of Billy Batson, who gains the ability to transform from a teenager to an adult superhero simply by uttering the word “shazam!”. Directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation), Shazam! has been received positively by film critics for its humorous tone. The film stars Asher Angel, Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, and Jack Dylan Grazer.

Read more on Mtime.

China and Hollywood to Co-produce Antarctic Rescue Film ‘Snow Dragon’

According to Mtime, China’s Xinhua Film Company and Shune River Media are partnering with American film producer Allyn Stewart to co-produce action-thriller Snow Dragon (“Xue Long”). Han Sanping will serve as creative advisor. The film, set in 2013, is based on a true story about how the Chinese icebreaker, Xue Long, rescued a group of 74 passengers on a Russian vessel trapped in the Antarctic. The screenplay will be written by American writer Todd Komarnicki who previously collaborated with Stewart to write Sully, another true story drama in which pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger miraculously landed a plane in the Hudson River, New York, shortly after takeoff, saving all passengers on board. Directed by Clint Eastwood and Starring Tom Hanks, Sully had a theatrical run in China in 2016 and grossed RMB 60 million.

Read more on Mtime.

A Look at Chinese Remakes of Korean Films

Taiwanese remake of Korean Movie More Than Blue opens in mainland China this week, making a total of 13 Chinese films that have been based on Korean films over the past decade. Mostly crime and romantic dramas, the highest grossing remake has so far been The Big Shot, which made RMB 379 million (RMB 56.5 million) in China. In addition to The Big Shot, four other remakes each earned over RMB 100 million. While those numbers are not particularly impressive, Chinese producers continue to show interest in remaking Korean stories due to several reasons, including shared similarities between Chinese and Korean culture, making it easier to adapt the movies for Chinese audiences; acquiring the adaptation rights to an already successful film for an emerging director is easier and a safer bet. On the downside, however, Chinese producers’ interest in remaking successful stories from other countries is an indication that China lacks skilled screenwriting talents.

Read more on entgroup.cn.

Which Companies Make Art House Films in China?

Over the past two years, an increasing number of art house films have scored theatrical releases in China. This spring, several more will hit the big screen, including The Crossing (Dir. Bai Xue), So Long My Son (Dir. Wang Xiaoshuai), and The Shadow Play (Dir. Lou Ye). This article lists 27 film companies that made art house films over the past few years, dividing the companies into three categories: companies that were founded by art-house filmmakers, such as Jia Zhangke’s Beijing Xihe Xinghui Pictures and Wang Xiaoshuai’s (pictured second from left above) Beijing Dongchun Films; companies that specialize in financing and producing art-house films, such as Black Fin Production and Shanghai Hehe Pictures; and large studios that produce various genres, including art house cinema.

Read more on Yiqipaidianying.

Marvel’s First Asian Superhero Film Confirms Its Director

Destin Cretton has been confirmed as the director of Shang-Chi, the first Asian-led film of the Marvel cinematic universe. His previous directorial works include Short Term 12 and The Glass Castle. Brie “Captain Marvel” Larson collaborated with Cretton on both of those films, as well as on the upcoming drama Just Mercy. Marvel Studio previously announced that they had hired Asian-American screenwriter Dave Callaham to write the script.

Read more on Mtime.

Gong Li May Join Peter Chan’s Upcoming Sports Film

Acclaimed Hong Kong director Peter Chan is to soon begin filming his new sports-related feature about China’s national women’s volleyball team, according to sources familiar with the production. Chinese actress Gong Li is rumored to be cast as the legendary Chinese volleyball player Lang Ping. Neither Gong Li though neither the film’s production team nor Gong Li’s management has confirmed the news. The film is written by Zhang Ji who previously wrote American Dreams in China and Dearestboth of which were also directed by Peter ChanThe film is eyeing an October 2019 release in order to pay tribute to the 70th anniversary of the founding of PRC.

Read more on Mtime.

READ: ‘The Old Barber’ Documents Death, Dignity, and a Dying Art in Rapidly Changing Beijing

Images courtesy of China Film Insider

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