Sony Pictures Television and Chinese online video platform iQIYI have entered a deal to co-produce a Mandarin-language version of Crackle series Chosen. The three-part adaptation will be produced by SPT’s Sydney-based Playmaker Media with support from Screen NSW for streaming in China. Production is eyed for spring 2017, starring an A-list Chinese cast, with launch expected in the fall next year.
Chosen aired for three cycles on Sony’s Crackle beginning in 2013 and starred Milo Ventimiglia, Chad Michael Murray and Rose McGowan. The action thriller follows a family that becomes drawn into a deadly game but ultimately binds together to save each other. The Chinese version will incorporate international actors and production crew.
Online viewing in the Middle Kingdom has surged in recent years. In a nod to how the Chinese market is looking to learn from Hollywood, iQIYI SVP Yang Xianghua noted at a Beijing press conference today, “Quality control is key to the development of any industry and iQIYI strives to make the best possible resources available to raise the level of crafting in net film production.”
Sony is in bed with the Chinese also via a deal with Dalian Wanda Group which will see the Chinese conglomerate provide marketing help in launching some of the studio’s tentpoles in China, and provide 10%-15% in co-financing on others.
IQIYI this week also extended its relationship with Lionsgate via a long-term output deal for China which will include the studio’s upcoming features as well as some library titles.