Joe Johnston Will Direct $100M Sci-Fi Film ‘Starfall’ In China


EXCLUSIVE: Joe Johnston will be directing a $100 million-budgeted sci-fi film at Wanda’s Qingdao Studios called Starfall. The project is being produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Erik Howsam and Infinity Pictures’ Dede Nickerson. The film is being co-financed by Lionsgate, Wanda and Infinity Pictures, which is a China Media Capital-backed company.

Deadline found out about the project after Johnston and Lionsgate’s Patrick Wachsberger joined Wanda chairman and CEO Wang Jianlin onstage last night during the presentation for the mega-studio facility and entertainment complex in the Eastern Chinese city of Qingdao.

Starfall, written by David Coggeshall, is an actioner that takes place on a space station. Johnston, of course, is a former VFX guy behind several Star Wars films who is adept and comfortable working on green screens. He previously directed Captain America: The First Avenger, Jumanji, Jurassic Park III, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids and, although not green screen, the wonderful 1999 film October Sky.

The new China studio boasts a 56,000-square-foot green screen stage that will be used in the production of the film.

Johnston is repped by Paradigm. Coggeshall, who scripted the horror film Solo which just wrapped shooting from Blumhouse and wrote the Black List script Star One, is repped by Paradigm and Writ Large.

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