Bona doubles up in 3-D
By Patrick Frater
Thu, 10 May 2012, 18:13 PM (HKT)
Bona Film Group Ltd 博納影業集團有限公司, one of China's largest private sector film conglomerates, is making a big push into 3-D movies.
The company, which previously backed hit 3-D action fantasy Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 龍門飛甲 (2011), revealed that it is planning two 3-D features that will shoot later this year. In a related move, the company has struck a deal with Flying Swords director TSUI Hark 徐克 (pictured), to invest in a new digital film technology centre in Tianjin, China.
Bona said that it will finance and distribute Tracks in the Snowy Forest 林海雪原, a retread of a 1960 film of the same title, originally directed by LIU Peiran 劉沛然. The new stereoscopic 3-D version will be directed by Tsui.
Bona will also back White Hair Witch, a 3-D update of the The Bride With White Hair 白髮魔女傳 (1993) story to be directed by Jacob CHEUNG 張之亮. Both films will make use of the 3-D equipment and skills base housed at the Tianjin joint venture.
Tsui is expected direct Snowy Forest, which requires extensive winter filming, only after he has directed the next Detective Dee episode for Huayi Bros. The post-production of Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon 狄仁杰前傳 and Snowy Forest may overlap.
"It looks like we are all going to be making use of the things that Tsui Hark learned from making Flying Swords," said a Bona source.
Bona confirmed that it will also finance and distribute Overheard 3, a further instalment in the hit Hong Kong-set police thriller franchise. Alan MAK 麥兆輝 and Felix CHONG 莊文強 will again share scripting and directing duties. And the film will be produced by Derek YEE 爾冬陞.
Bona also previously announced the CHOW Yun-fat 周潤發 and Sammo HUNG 洪金寶 starring picture The Last Tycoon 大上海, being directed by WONG Jing 王晶. It previously carried the English title Once Upon A Time In Shanghai. (Both films will be delivered in conventional 2-D format.)
Bona COO Jeffrey CHAN 陳永雄 said that it is currently too early to say whether the two new 3-D films will also be presented in IMAX format. "IMAX keeps a very close eye on Bona's production slate and very much wants to do more Chinese movies, but no decision has been taken on these two yet," he said.
Flying Swords was shown in IMAX 3-D format in Chinese theatres in December last year. In a recent deal with Indomina it will be screened as an IMAX 3-D movie in North America in the third quarter of this year.
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
Enjoyably retro swordplay antics, with a superb cast but a weak finale.
The Last Tycoon
Superbly tooled piece of popular entertainment centred on '30s Shanghai crime-lords.
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