China-backed Cristal Pictures has acquired Twin Blades, a female buddy action spec from new writer Ingrid Eskeland-Adetuyi. Logan and Deadpool producer Lauren Shuler Donner is aboard to produce the project, which Cristal will fully finance as a Chinese co-production and take it out to directors soon ahead of an eyed fourth-quarter 2017 production start.
The plot follows an unlikely pair of alpha females — Zoe, an American tech entrepreneur who relocates her company to China, and Maylin, a local female bodyguard hired to protect her – as they struggle to coexist in their daily routine. When Zoe’s life is threatened, the two must put aside their differences and join forces to survive.
The Donners’ Company president Jack Leslie will also produce. Cristal EVP Production Nick D’Angelo brought in the spec from Eskeland-Adetuyi, a recent graduate of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. She is repped by APA and Zero Gravity Management who made the sale.
“I’ve been looking for an opportunity to break into the Chinese market due to its devoted and passionate audience and have found the perfect partner in Cristal Pictures,” Schuler Donner said in a release announcing the deal. “The slate they are building, along with their strong creative and financial backing from East Light Media, makes them a unique and strong choice for this project. In addition, we have found a fresh and exciting new voice in Ingrid, and her script is a terrific mix of character-driven action with a unique East-meets-West dynamic.”
Cristal co-financed and co-produced the action comedy Hitman’s Bodyguard starring Deadpool‘s Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Salma Hayek. Lionsgate releases it August 18.