The World of Chinese - - FRONT PAGE -

China's rich­est man, Wang Jian­lin, went on a bit of a shop­ping spree in Hol­ly­wood in Oc­to­ber, picking up a num­ber of use­ful ti­tles for his dream of a Chi­nese movie mega-in­dus­try. For sci-fi fans, one of the big­gest pieces of news in­volved a planned sci-fi block­buster from Joe John­ston, the di­rec­tor be­hind Cap­tain Aamer­ica: the first avenger and Ju­manji, who cut his teeth on Star­wars and Raiders of the lost ark as a VFX di­rec­tor and de­signer. The movie is to be called Starfall and will be writ­ten by David Cogge­shall. John­ston isn't im­mune to flops (namely Juras­sic­parkiii), but the man who brought Honey, i shrunk the kids to life knows his strong suit: the green screen. Con­sid­er­ing Wang's Qing­dao movie com­plex boasts a 5,200-square-me­ter green screen, it's a pretty good guess that this next movie isn't go­ing to be a claus­tro­pho­bic think piece like Oc­to­ber­sky. Oh, and one more thing: it's got a 100 mil­lion USD bud­get—about twice the bud­get of the soon-to-be win­ter block­buster Ar­rival. Even if the story it­self ends up being com­plete rub­bish, 100 mil­lion USD is sure to pro­duce enough ac­tion to get bums in Chi­nese theater seats. If noth­ing else, War­craft taught us that much. – TYLER RONEY

The China Academy of Launch Ve­hi­cle Tech­nol­ogy (CALVT), a state-backed firm, re­vealed that they have plans to en­ter the grow­ing space tourism sec­tor with the cre­ation of a sim­ple one-piece space plane. The big­gest name in space tourism for the past few years has been Vir­gin Ga­lac­tic, whose Space­shiptwo—for the low, low price of 250,000 USD— can fly pas­sen­gers to space and back, and Blue Ori­gin's New Shep­ard will do the same. An im­por­tant facet of the pro­posed Chi­nese model is that it's a one-piece. It's not pos­si­ble to just “fly” to space on tra­di­tional en­gines, but whereas ships like the Space­shiptwo in­tend to take off from an­other plane, the Chi­nese ver­sion would take off ver­ti­cally from the ground. Both the Space­shiptwo and the New Shep­ard will carry six pas­sen­gers, and the 10-ton Chi­nese ver­sion will carry five. But, things get re­ally ex­cit­ing with the 100-ton model, which will be able to carry 20 pas­sen­gers. This fron­tier in new space tourism might not be ready to take off for a long time yet, but, hey, Richard Bran­son has been sell­ing tick­ets to Space­shiptwo for years. – T.R.

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