Jiaflix Pictures and China Movie Channel shingle, 1905 Pictures, are reportedly teaming up with di Bonaventura Pictures for the futuristic car chase action thriller tentatively titled Speedhunters. The Fast And The Furious and The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor helmer Rob Cohen is set to direct the $100 million film which begins rolling cameras in Shanghai and Germany’s famed Studio Babelsberg with other exotic locations worldwide starting this June.
Set in the near future, SPEEDHUNTERS is an action-thriller in the world of Formula racing where a colorful team of racers and crew get drawn into high intrigue around a revolutionary technology threatening to change the world as we know it.
Free Country scribe Josh Parkinson wrote the script for the film’s 2018 release.
“SPEEDHUNTERS has all the tenets of a global franchise with its action sequences, visual effects, relatable characters and a storyline that takes ordinary people through a journey of extraordinary circumstances,” explains producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Di Bonaventura is behind mega-franchises like G.I. Joe and the Transformers series, which alone has generated $3.8 billion at the box office. He received a Career Achievement Award from the Zurich Film Festival in 2016.
“When SPEEDHUNTERS was sent to me by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Marc Ganis, I was immediately engaged by the story and characters. Opportunities to capture speed and action in a new way, using new filmic techniques are rare and valuable to me. So it was with Josh Parkinson’s script. It told a story on which I could build a tapestry of break-the-limit speed, adrenaline, and a core group of great characters. What more could a director want?” adds Cohen.
Jiaflix, 1905 Pictures and China Movie Channel previously teamed with Paramount and di Bonaventura for Transformers: Age of Extinction which became a top grosser in 2014, engaging in the film’s overall production, design and implementation of China marketing, anti-piracy and grass roots programs that helped rocket the film to grossing more than a record-breaking $300 million in China. As a new franchise starter, Speedhunters aims to top that.
“We are excited to work with Hollywood powerhouses Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Rob Cohen, both who have exceptional track records in developing and directing multi-billion dollar franchises,” says Jiaflix President Marc Ganis. “Coupled with our team that propelled the 4th installment of the Transformers franchise to unprecedented success in China, we look forward to creating the next big action franchise with SPEEDHUNTERS that will drive demand and box office performance worldwide.”
“This venture is a reflection of the growing interest and strength of China-U.S. partnerships in bringing excellent films to the international market,” adds Jiaflix Founder Kenneth Huang, chairman of one of the film’s main investment partners, HuaHua Media.
Cohen’s recently completed endeavor, Category 5, opens later this year.