Hollywood stars respond to China
China is beckoning, and Hollywood is responding.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the star of TheTerminator movie series who just completed his role in JourneytoChina with Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan this week, announced he will make another movie in China. He’ll play the lead in what’s being billed as a $200 million blockbuster film in 3D about an ancient Chinese kingdom.
The movie’s title — The GuestofSanxingdui — refers to the ancient ruins in China’s southwest Sichuan province where the film will be partially shot.
More American stars and studios are making and looking to make films in China, enticed by the huge box office that China represents. And Chinese investors are luring Hollywood directors.
Last month, China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, chairman of cinema and real estate giant Dalian Wanda Group, announced $750 million in incentives over five years for Hollywood films to shoot at a $5 billion studio in Qingdao, China, that is scheduled to open in 2018.
The offer includes subsidies on everything from stage and set rental to post-production editing, up to 40 percent of a film’s budget.
As for Hollywood’s stars filming in China, Matt Damon, known for his role in the Jason Bourne series, is one of the headliners of Zhang Yimou’s upcoming film The Great Wall. It was made in China and is Zhang’s first Englishlanguage movie.
Academy Award winner Michael Douglas and fellow star Jeremy Renner said this week that they are looking to make films in China. They made their first visit to China this week, to the tropical island of Hainan for the 2016 Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament.
“We will be visiting the film studios at Mission Hills Movie Town. Movies are a wonderful international language so I hope I have the opportunity to be back here,” Douglas said.
Renner, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in TheHurt Locker, said, “There are many possibilities that I will shoot a movie in China some time. I’m shooting another Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise so we may be here next year. If that benefits China then it’s a win-win,” he added
As for the 69-year-old Schwarzenegger, on Monday he visited Sanxingdui, the Bronze Age archeological site believed to be the remnants of the Shu Kingdom, which suddenly disappeared 3,000 years ago. The former California governor was named its spokesman to help promote the site overseas, the Sanxingdui Museum announced.
The initial budget for The GuestofSanxingdui is $200 million, Xinhua reported. It will be produced by Beijing Ajimo, an investment company with no apparent previous film production credits. Schwarzenegger will play a foreign visitor to Sanxingdui during its heyday.
Arnold Schwarzenegger poses for pictures in front of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, Shaanxi province in China, in 2013.