EXCLUSIVE: Chinese property developer JS Group is launching an LA-based movie investment business and looking to follow in the footsteps of Chinese peer Starlight Media, backers of Chadwick Boseman drama Marshall.
The property developer and asset management firm, which has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Malaysia and Melbourne, plans to open an LA office in Beverly Hills this year which will have a focus on film, real estate and wine.
Details are thin on the ground but the firm has made it clear that it wants to replicate the model of property developer turned film financier Starlight, which has made film investments and backed individuals via development funds, by “signing major directors to create new intellectual property.”
Starlight operates under the leadership of CEO Peter Luo, and has struck deals with Aquaman director James Wan, F. Gary Gray, Roland Emmerich and Jon M. Chu, and also backed Thurgood Marshall biopic Marshall. Last month, it said it would be supporting Jonathan Liebesman, Sylvester Stallone, Alan Taylor and Robert Zemeckis as part of a $100M development fund.
Elsewhere, JS Group has teamed up with Starlight and Australian firm Hayball Architects to launch a resort at the Goona Warra Vineyard near Melbourne, which JS hopes can also serve as a filming location. The ‘Hollywood themed’ resort, which is being mapped out now, will have 85 rooms, two restaurants, a ‘Hollywood club’, a winery and a wedding ballroom, as part of a $100M+ renovation of the site. JS says it want to “partner with celebrities from Hollywood, China, and Japan to assist in promotions” for the new venue.
“This will be a great and unprecedented cross-border innovation in brand IP,” said Jacky Cheung, Managing Director of JS Group. “This resort will attract attention from global high-end entertainment, interpret the new definition of wine culture, and become a new global entertainment center.”
“Australia has a vast territory and is sparsely populated,” said Starlight’s Luo. “The perfect natural conditions are also the biggest constraint to Australia’s development. We’ve teamed up with JS Group to create an unprecedented IP brand and revitalize the region by packaging tourism, real estate, wine, and the entertainment industry.”