EXCLUSIVE: In the biggest deal made at this Cannes Film Festival, Bona Film Group has closed a deal near $80 million to lead the investment on director Roland Emmerich’s next feature Midway, based on the seminal WWII battle, for The Mark Gordon Company.
The Chinese company has acquired worldwide distribution rights excluding the U.S., and Bona will release the film in China. Wes Tooke wrote the script, and Bona’s Yu Dong will produce with Emmerich, MGC’s Mark Gordon and Matt Jackson, along with Harald Kloser. CAA brokered the deal and will rep the U.S. rights.
The film is an epic telling of the Battle of Midway, a turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II. The story follows the real soldiers and aviators who pulled off the unbelievable to turn the tide of the war in June 1942. Emmerich and Gordon are extending a their relationship that began with The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. Josh Clay Phillips will oversee the project on behalf of MGC.
The deal marks a new level of engagement for Bona’s international business development. Dong, the founder, president and CEO of Bona, has overseen the production of more than 260 films. Bona previously has staked such films as Alien: Covenant, Independence Day: Resurgence, The Martian, X-Men: Apocalypse and the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes.
Emmerich is repped by CAA and Bloom Hergott. Tooke, a writer-producer on USA Network’s Colony and Amazon’s upcoming series Jean-Claude Van Johnson, is represented by WME, Rain Management Group and Lichter Grossman.