The H Collective and Chinese streaming giant iQiyi have set a three-picture co-production and distribution deal. The first film under the pact will be action comedy Counter Spy which is currently being rewritten by former Marvel exec Craig Kyle (Thor: Ragnarok) from an original draft by David Rothenberg and Lionel Enns. Production is slated to begin in early 2019.
Counter Spy follows a barista at the CIA headquarters’ Starbucks in Langley, Virginia. He has the highest security coffee job in the world and loves being close to the action. However, when he’s accidentally tangled up in a secret mission with an old-school CIA agent and his Chinese counterparts, his fantasy of the spy life comes crashing down.
IQiyi will also handle theatrical and digital distribution of The H Collective co-productions in China. Launched in June last year, The H Collective recently recently acquired the xXx franchise from Revolution Studios with Vin Diesel’s One Race Films. Diesel will reprise his role as Xander Cage for director D.J. Caruso in xXx 4. The company also has a deal with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions to distribute and market up to four films per year globally outside of China.
The H Collective has a production deal with James Gunn, with whom it is currently in post-production on an untitled horror thriller directed by David Yarovesky and starring Elizabeth Banks. Also in post is Christopher Cantwell’s The Parts You Lose starring Aaron Paul, Scoot McNairy and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and produced by Mark Johnson under his Gran Via banner. It has also acquired the rights to Aaron W Sala’s horror thriller spec The Beast.