Jiaflix Pictures, a company that specializes in US-China co-productions, is teaming up with China Movie Channel’s 1905 pictures and the US’ di Bonaventura Pictures on Speedhunters.
Set in the near future, Speedhunters is “an action-thriller in the world of Formula racing where a colorful team of racers and crew get drawn into high intrigue around a revolutionary technology threatening to change the world as we know it,” according to a press release from Jiaflix.
The US$100 million production is set to be directed by Rob Cohen, the director behind The Fast & The Furious, xXx and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, with a script by Josh Parkinson. The shoot is expected to begin in July 2017 in Shanghai, Germany’s Studio Babelsberg and other locations around the world with a release tentatively set for summer 2018.
Di Bonaventura is best known as the production company behind the Transformers franchise, Deepwater Horizon, RED and the two G.I. Joe films. Jiaflix and 1905 previous worked with di Bonaventura on the production and China marketing of Transformers: Age of Extinction.
With the involvement of Jiaflix (based in Beijing and the US), 1905 Pictures (owned by China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Televison) and HuaHua Media, the film will likely qualify for co-production status in China, allowing the foreign investor to take a larger share of the film’s China revenue. The script has reportedly been submitted to SAPPRFT censors.
“This venture is a reflection of the growing interest and strength of China-U.S. partnerships in bringing excellent films to the international market,” says Jiaflix founder Kenneth Huang in the statement. Huang is also the chairman of HuaHua, which has been making an aggressive push into Hollywood as a co-investor of multiple Paramount productions. The company also recently announced a US$1 billion deal with Shanghai Film Group to finance films by Paramount, but trade media report that the deal may be in trouble due to the Chinese government enacting restrictions on outbound investments.