EXCLUSIVE: As Well Go USA Entertainment today opens the Stephen Fung-directed action film Tai Chi Zero on the specialty circult, the distributor has closed a deal for the film’s sequel, Tai Chi Hero. The deal is for North American rights for the film, which is the second in a trilogy. Tai Chi Hero will be released in the U.S. and Canada early next year.

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Tai Chi Zero played both the Venice and Toronto film festivals this fall. Its mix of kung fu, steampunk and robots created some buzz and led to Well Go USA’s deal.

“Based on the early success we’ve seen for Tai Chi Zero out of Venice and Toronto, as well as the early box office success in China, we wanted to ensure Director Fung’s entire trilogy is brought to North American audiences,” said Doris Pfardrescher, President, Well Go USA Entertainment. “The response has been amazing — audiences are asking how soon they can see Tai Chi Hero as soon as Tai Chi Zero ends, and we wanted to honor that request by putting Tai Chi Hero in theaters as quickly as possible.”

Both films were acquired from Huayi Brothers Media in deals negotiated between Leslie Chen on behalf of the company, and Pfardrescher.

Here is the trailer for Tai Chi Zero: