China’s Tianying Media has acquired “The Last Resort,” a live-action, sci-fi comedy project from comic-book veteran Stan Lee.
The screenplay was written by Lee and Bob Underwood and was partly inspired by Lee’s 1970’s comic strip, “The Virtue of Vera Valiant,” which follows the story of a woman who inherits a resort hotel in space. Tianying is attaching leading Chinese comedy teams with a view to starting production later this year.
“We are focusing on the Chinese market, a rapidly growing audience that is extremely hungry for new ideas and a variety of different films,” said Wu Jian, CEO of Tianying Media.
The project was initially brought to Tianying Media by producers Elliot Tong and Reinhard Schreiner, who founded Roaring China in Los Angeles.
“We are taking excellent screenwriting from the West and adding local flavors and marketing sense required for the Chinese audience,” said Zhou Zheng, president of production for Tianying Media. “The market is ready for this.”
Tianying Media is closely associated with state-owned enterprise Tianjin North Film Group, which is best known as an animation producer. The company has recently part-financed “Shanghai Fortress,” directed by Teng Huatao. In Cannes this week, it unveiled “June,” which stars Aaron Kwok and rising star Miao Miao (“Youth”). Tianying Media also has a strategy partnership with China Film Co. for distribution in China.
The deal was negotiated by Randy Mendelsohn for Tianying, who will also serve as executive producer on the film. POW! Entertainment, Stan Lee, Sheri Rosenberg Kelton and Bob Underwood will also be executive producers. Tong and Schreiner serve as producers.
Roaring China was established to shepherd projects and bring A-list Hollywood talent to the Chinese marketplace. “We want to keep this momentum going with more acquisitions,” Tong said. “This is a great feat for Tianying Media and Chinese production as a whole.”