Hong Kong filmmaker Peter Ho-sun Chan has launched a production company to focus on streaming content, Changin’ Pictures, with a debut slate of five projects and talent including action star Donnie Yen and Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.
The new outfit aims to “revolutionize the streaming multiverse in Asia” by signing up leading filmmakers and fresh talent from across the region to create drama series for a pan-Asian audience and beyond. Chan also intends to collaborate with platforms and potential co-production partners who want to jump into Asia’s expanding streaming market.
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Changin’ Pictures plans to roll out 20 limited series across various genres from across the Asia Pacific region in its first four years.
The first two projects on the slate are Korean series, both adapted from popular webtoons: ONE: High School Heroes, produced by Covenant Pictures (Desperate Mr. X), about a bullied high school kid who transforms himself into a hero; and Heesu In Class 2, produced by Film K (Escape From Mogadishu), billed as a bittersweet romance between two high school boys.
Donnie Yen is attached as showrunner to Outright Loser, Hidden Master, the action star’s first foray into series, billed as “a reinvention of the martial arts genre in a never-before-seen universe”. Yen will also star as an Asian American martial artist who, after noticing that some ordinary folks in Hong Kong are actually kung fu masters, discovers that martial artists have been passing down their lineage through imprinting their memories and martial art skills onto strangers’ bodies.
Zhang Ziyi will star in The Murderer, a true crime suspense thriller, which will be directed by Chan. Based on a historical case in Shanghai in the ’40s, the series revolves around a woman accused of dismembering her husband and traces events in China from Japanese Occupation and the Nationalist government to the birth of a new China.
The debut slate also includes anthology horror series The Eye, a reboot of the popular horror IP, produced by Thailand’s Banjong Pisanthanakun (Pee Mak), and directed by fellow high-profile Thai filmmakers Nattawut Baz Poonpiriya (One For The Road), Parkpoom Wongpoom (Shutter) and Wisit Sasanatieng (Tears Of The Black Tiger).
Esther Yeung is joining Changin’ Pictures as chief operating officer. She was formerly general manager, head of sales and distribution, at Bill Kong’s Edko Films, where she oversaw the local release of films such as Drive My Car, Parasite and Shoplifters.
Chan was one of the first Asian filmmakers to push pan-Asian collaboration back in the early 2000s through Hong Kong-based outfit Applause Pictures, which spearheaded co-productions and anthologies with filmmakers including Kim Jee-Woon, Park Chan-Wook, Takashi Miike, Hur Jin-Ho, Nonzee Nimibutr, the Pang Brothers and Fruit Chan.
“I don’t want this to be a Peter Chan’s company,” said Chan. “We are not a director’s production company. It is only filmmaker-backed and filmmaker-driven so that we could raise our level of productivity and efficiency. We aspire to be Asia’s most effective one stop shop for international production partners and streaming platforms.”
Chans’ credits as director include Comrades, Almost A Love Story (1996), Perhaps Love (2005), The Warlords (2007), Bodyguards And Assassins (2009), Wu Xia (2011), American Dreams In China (2013), Dearest (2014) and Leap (2020).
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