EXCLUSIVE– Acclaimed international commercial director Antony Hoffman has set up his feature directorial debut Fox Hunt with Fox International Pictures’ president Sanford Panitch. Panitch, widely respected as one of the savviest studio execs working in the international arena, sparked to Hoffman’s pitch about making a car chase action pic in China.

Based on actual events, Fox Hunt is a character-driven, action film inspired by the case files and experiences of real-life investigators within Hong Kong’s Anti-Smuggling Bureau, and Homeland Security’s Investigation units in the U.S.  The story tracks U.S. and Chinese investigators who join forces to combat violent smugglers in the South China sea.  As part of China’s new mandate, “Operation Fox Hunt”, a female Homeland Security Agent in Hong Kong’s Attache office joins a collateral operation with Hong Kong’s own Anti-Smuggling Bureau. Together, they must overcome personal and cultural obstacles to investigate a lucrative, car smuggling ring, but the international operation has violent, unexpected repercussions.

Hoffman spent two years extensively researching and preparing alongside agents in the U.S. and their counterparts in Anti smuggle task force in China. Production is planned on location in Hong Kong, Beijing and Long Beach.

Fox Hunt is being written by Hoffman and Brian Brightly, who is repped by Jon Huddle at UTA. Hoffman is repped by David Unger at Three Six Zero and Wendy Kirk at Brittenham.

Michael Andreen will oversee the project for FIP and China’s Bona Film Group.  Hoffman, one of the hottest directors in the commercials world, already has extensive experience shooting in China and has directed many high profile campaigns for most of the top car brands including Lamborghini, Mercedes, Cadillac, Lexus and Audi.

Here’s one of Hoffman’s Superbowl ads:

Anthony Hoffman Superbowl Ad

The deal is the latest China-related piece of business this week, following on from the news that Huayi Bros. are pacting with Richard Simonds’ STX Entertainment and Beijing Enlight Media Co. are reportedly in talks to co-finance a major film franchise with an unnamed American company.