“Bajrangi Bhaijaan” fame director Kabir Khan and “Bang Bang!” director Siddharth Anand have been roped in to helm two Indo-Chinese co-productions backed by Eros International’s franchise feature film studio Trinity Pictures, it was announced on Friday.
The co-productions are with Chinese film companies Peacock Mountain Culture & Media Ltd and Huaxia Film Distribution Co Ltd, read a statement from Eros International.
Khan’s travel drama “The Zookeeper” (working title) and Anand’s cross-cultural romantic comedy “Love in Beijing” (working title) will be released in 2018.
Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO, Eros International, said: “We believe China to be a significant market opportunity for Indian films. Following our co-production treaties last year, we are very proud to announce the first of our joint productions going into production soon.
“With Trinity, we also want to tell stories that transcend the language barrier and have mainstream appeal. We believe our Indo-China co-productions will be game-changing as we pave the way to open up one of the largest film markets in the world.”
Ajit Thakur, CEO, Trinity Pictures added that it’s a “revolutionary milestone for Indian cinema” as Eros’ Trinity Pictures becomes the first Indian studio to collaborate with China’s Huaxia Film Distribution Co. Ltd and Peacock Mountain Culture & Media Ltd and deliver our vision for a truly global film”.
The two films are set in both India and China and will have Han Sanping, former Chairman of China Film Group, as their creative producer. Sanping has produced more than 300 films and 100 TV series, including “Red Cliff” and “Karate Kid”.
With the cast from both India and China – a leading Indian male actor and leading Chinese actress, Khan’s “The Zookeeper” tells the journey of an Indian zookeeper to China to find a panda to return to India with in order to save his zoo.
Anand’s “Love in Beijing”, also with an A-lister Indian actress and leading Chinese male actor, is based on an Indian girl who falls in love with a Chinese man.
Production costs for “The Zookeeper” are expected to be (approximately) $25 million and “Love in Beijing” (approximately) $15 million.
The films will be shot simultaneously in both languages.
While the original stories were developed by the Trinity Pictures Writers’ Room, creative teams from both Trinity Pictures and the Chinese film companies have worked on them closely to create storylines that blend Sino-Indian culture.
The films will be shot across India and China with major parts of “The Zookeeper” shot in Chengdu while “Love in Beijing” will be shot in Beijing and its suburbs.
Sanping said that creating an entertaining movie for two of the biggest markets in the world is a “big challenge”.
Khan said that it’s an “exciting challenge to shoot the film in two languages, a first for me and creating a whole new world of completely unique characters. There is tremendous potential with similarities in art and culture and I hope to present a film that will be a complete package and will combine the ethos of both the countries”.
Anand shared that he is thrilled to be part of a film that will cater to a much wider audience, span new geographies and reach new territories.
Last year, Eros International signed memorandums with leading Chinese state owned film companies China Film Group Corp, Shanghai Film Group and Fudan University for the exploitation of intellectual property rights as well as to develop, co-produce and distribute Indo-China films across all platforms in both countries during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to China.