China’s Bourne is com­ing

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

Once an elec­tri­cian in East China’s Jiangsu province, Liu Ye never imag­ined he would be­come an in­ter­net sen­sa­tion or see his name on the big screen.

But now thanks to China’s thirsty for qual­ity in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty — in this case, con­tent with a large fan base — the on­line writer will see his novel, Age of Leg­ends, de­vel­oped into a fran­chise.

At a re­cent Bei­jing event hosted byChi­ne­seAll.com, one ofChina’s largest dig­i­tal-pub­li­ca­tion plat­forms, the com­pany an­nounced it would team up with five lead­ing stu­dios to turn a num­ber of nov­els into movies, tele­vi­sion shows and games.

As one of the most pop­u­lar nov­els on 17k.com, a lit­er­a­ture site af­fil­i­ated to Chi­ne­seAll, Age of Leg­ends has re­ceived more than 300 mil­lion “clicks” and a score of 8.5 points on 10 on the in­flu­en­tial re­view site Douban.com.

Un­like most on­line nov­els de­pict­ing time-travel ro­mances, Age of Leg­ends is some­what a real-life, rags-to-riches tale. Set in a fic­tional city, it talks of a se­cu­rity guard who aims to be­come a busi­ness ty­coon.

Zhe­jiang Huace Film & TV, one of the five part­ners, plans to adapt the novel into three TV se­ries, two films and one smart­phone game in the next five years. The aim is to es­tab­lish the pro­tag­o­nist hero as the Chi­nese an­swer to Matt Da­mon’s su­per spy Ja­son Bourne, says Xu Yile, gen­eral man­ager of Cro­ton, a Shang­hai sub­sidiary of the Hangzhou-based com­pany.

Most of the novel’s diehard fans are aged 18 or 19, data show.

“A young fan had do­nated 200,000 yuan ($30,000) to the author in 2011. It’s an in­cred­i­ble fig­ure even by

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