China’s Fundamental Films and Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp have extended their output deal for five more years in a move that also will see Fundamental invest $50 million in Besson’s ambitious sci-fi project Valerian. Fundamental will continue to distribute EuropaCorp films in China, in addition to taking on co-production duties on a number of upcoming titles.
Besson’s Valerian stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne and is one of the hottest titles selling at this year’s market. The company will co-finance Besson’s ambitious project and handle Chinese distribution, while owning a substantial part of international box office growth.
‘We are proud of our ongoing partnership with EuropaCorp and the successes achieved to date,” said Fundamental Chairman Mark Gao. “With several co-productions in development and a number of first-rate films soon to reach enthusiastic Chinese and worldwide audiences, we can look forward to a hugely exciting next five years. Getting to work on one of the hot market titles in Cannes, Valerian, seems the best way to celebrate, and we have no doubt that Luc Besson will deliver yet another fantastic result.”
Added EuropaCorp chief exec Christopher Lambert. “Fundamental Film’s vast experience and expertise within the Chinese market has ensured our films continue to land in the territory with a real bang, As partners, we have developed a phenomenal slate of forthcoming co-productions and could not be happier to be bringing our shared sensibilities and bold creative vision to the big screen.”
The two companies first partnered in 2012, signing an exclusive three-year output deal that has seen the likes of Brick Mansions, Lucy and Taken 3 launched in China. The success of the deal marks Fundamental’s growth beyond distribution in the Chinese market, becoming an international player in financing, funding and the co-production of international projects.
The next five years will see the companies come together on the development and release of a number of French-Chinese co-productions, including the upcoming Transporter reboot and Matthias Hoene’s Warrior’s Gate, which recently added Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy) to its cast and is being sold to international buyers.