China’s CMC Pictures will bring a line-up of five titles to the Cannes virtual market this year, including “Assassin in Red,” a major blockbuster set to hit next Chinese New Year.
The firm will be selling global rights outside of China and Southeast Asia to the fantasy drama directed by Lu Yang (“Brotherhood of Blades,” “Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield”) and executive produced by Ning Hao (“Crazy Alien”).
The film, whose Mandarin title translates to “Assassinate the Novelist,” tells the story of a man who, in order to save his missing daughter, is tasked with killing a writer whose writing creates a parallel world that begins to interact with the real one.
The title reunites “Brotherhood of Blades II” stars Yang Mi (“Tiny Times”) and Lei Jiayin (“The Longest Day in Chang’an”), alongside Golden Horse Award winner Dong Zijiang (of Jia Zhangke’s “Mountains May Depart” and “Ash is Purest White”).
CMC also brings two of its own productions: a crime film called “Three Old Boys,” directed police TV serial veteran Gao Qunshu, and “I Remember,” a romantic comedy with an amnesia plot line starring megastar Angelababy and Taiwan’s Lee Hongchi (“Tigertail”).
The former stars Jiang Wu (“A Touch of Sin,” “Shower”), Guo Tao (“Crazy Stone,” “I Am Not Madame Bovary”), and Huang Zhizhong (“The Founding of an Army”). They depict three policemen who worked together as a trio in the prime of their careers and reunite again as they approach retirement to investigate a case of financial fraud. The film features work from South Korean action director Yoo Sang-Seob, who was behind the stunts for “Parasite,” and is currently in post-production.
CMC is also selling the 1990s-set romantic drama “Wild Grass” from “Kung Fu Yoga” helmer Xu Zhangxiong. It stars popular Sandra Ma (“Soul Mate”), Elaine Zhong and Johnny Huang and is available worldwide outside of mainland China and Japan.
CMC will be one of the major distributors of hotly anticipated Chinese blockbusters “The Eight Hundred” and “The Rescue” abroad. They both had their debuts derailed by external factors — the former by censorship concerns and the latter by COVID-19. Neither title has announced an official release date yet, nor are they likely to in the near future, given that China’s cinemas remain shut due to concerns over COVID-19.
Nevertheless, CMC lists “The Rescue” as releasing in 2020. Meanwhile, “The Eight Hundred” is listed as currently in “post-production” and its release date “TBD.”
CMC Pictures is the film division of entertainment and media conglomerate CMC Inc. It is engaged in the development, production, marketing of live-action and animated films, as well as their China and international distribution. The company’s distribution and marketing network covers 281 cities in 103 countries worldwide. It is one of the world’s largest distribution platforms for Chinese-language films, and has distributed over 50 leading Chinese titles abroad, including local hits “The Wandering Earth,” “Wolf Warrior 2,” and “Nezha.”
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