Paramount is teaming with the state-backed China Movie Channel and U.S./Chinese streaming company Jiaflix in a “cooperation agreement” on Michael Bay‘s Transformers 4. This is the latest high-profile studio movie to enter into a Chinese partnership: Marvel’s Iron Man 3, which debuts later this week in China, was made with local production outfit DMG. Although that film was initially intended as an official co-production, Marvel and DMG untimately said they decided not to apply for the status. The Paramount announcement makes no mention of Transformers 4 being a co-production, but says China Movie Channel, under SARFT, “will cooperate with Paramount in broad-based support of the production of the film in China.” Transformers 4 will be released there on or about June 27, 2014. It will shoot in China and local post-production is a possibility. Chinese talent is also expected to be cast alongside Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor. Bay recently said Transformers 4 “will feel very different then the last three. We are embarking on a new trilogy.” The last Transformers pic, Dark Of The Moon, was huge in China, grossing $165M locally. The press release below spells out the details on the deal:
Los Angeles, CA – April 2, 2013 – Paramount Pictures, China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises announced today that they have entered into a Cooperation Agreement regarding the production of “Transformers 4” in China. The Cooperation Agreement was signed on April 1, 2013 in Beijing and Los Angeles.
Pursuant to the agreement, China Movie Channel, under the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT), will cooperate with Paramount in broad-based support of the production of the film in China. “Transformers 4” is expected to be released in China on or about June 27, 2014. The parties also intend to cooperate in a number of other areas related to “Transformers 4,” including the selection of filming sites within China, theatrical promotion, and possible post-production activities in China as well as casting of Chinese actors and actresses in the film.
This agreement represents the first time that China Movie Channel will work with a western studio in the production of a major motion picture. (more…)