EXCLUSIVE: LA-based, China-backed finance and production outfit Cristal Pictures has set director Eva Jin (Sophie’s Revenge) to helm female buddy action comedy Twin Blades. Rising Chinese actress Ma Li has also boarded to star. Cristal is co-producing along with The Donners’ Company’s Lauren Shuler Donner and President Jack Leslie. Production is slated for the second quarter of 2019 in Hong Kong and mainland China with Cristal and Wanda Media co-financing.
Legally Blonde screenwriter Karen McCullah recently completed a rewrite of the script which Cristal acquired from Ingrid Eskeland-Adetuyi in 2017. The story centers on an unlikely pair of alpha females — Zoe, an American tech entrepreneur who relocates her company to China, and Maylin (Ma), a local female bodyguard who is hired to protect her. When Zoe’s life is threatened, the odd couple must put aside differences and join forces in order to survive.
Ma’s credits include Chinese box office hits Never Say Die and Goodbye Mr Loser. Jin has directed a number of Chinese-language features including comedy Sophie’s Revenge which starred Zhang Ziyi and was one of the top titles of 2009. With it, Jin became the first female helmer to crack the RMB 100M box office mark. She is currently in post-production on Australian/Chinese co-production Legend Of Sun And Moon.
Cristal Pictures’ EVP of Production, Nick D’Angelo, has worked closely with Shuler Donner and Leslie in developing Twin Blades, and is overseeing for Cristal. The company previously co-financed and co-produced 2017 action comedy Hitman’s Bodyguard. President Scott Einbinder says, “We are thrilled to have Eva come aboard Twin Blades. We believe her voice and vision are perfect for this high-energy story of these two bold women trying to come to terms with one another during a zany adventure. We are also excited to have the talented Ma join the cast. Chinese audiences already love her… We can’t wait for American audiences to get to know her as well.”