Headlines from China: ‘Shazam!’ Scores April 5 China Release

‘Shazam!’ Scores April 5 China Release

DC superhero film Shazam! has been scheduled for release in China on April 5, the same day as in North America. The film tells the story of Billy Batson, a teenage boy who finds himself received magic power from an ancient wizard by uttering the word “Shazam!” Directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation), Shazam! is 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 is based on a true story in 2013 that a Chinese icebreaker Xue Long rescued a group of 74 passengers on a Russian vessel, which had been trapped in the Antarctic. The screenplay will be written by American writer Todd Komarnicki. The writer previously collaborated with Allyn Stewart to write Sully, a drama film also based on a true event. Directed by Clint Eastwood and Starring Tom Hanks, Sully had a theatrical run in China in 2016 and grossed 60 million yuan. Read more on Mtime

A Look at Chinese Remakes of Korean Films 

As Taiwanese remake of Korean Movie More Than Blue is opening in mainland China this week, we take a look at the Chinese remakes of Korean films in the past. Over the past 10 years, 13 Chinese films are made based on Korean films. Most of them are crime and romantic dramas. As to their box office earnings, the highest grossing one is The Big Shot, which made 379 million yuan ($56.5 million) in China. In addition to The Big Shot, there are four other remakes that each earned over 100 million yuan. While the numbers are not particularly impressive, Chinese producers continuously show interest in remaking Korean stories due to the following reasons: first, there are lots of similarities between Chinese culture and Korean culture, which makes it easier for a Korean story to be accepted and understood by Chinese audience; secondly, many top Chinese studios have plans to incubate emerging filmmakers. Acquiring the adaptation rights to an already successful film for an emerging filmmaker to direct is an easier and safer bet. Last but not least, Chinese producers’ strong interest in remaking successful stories from other countries is an indication that China lacks skilled screenwriting talents. Read more on entgroup.cn