Chinese James Bond movie on the cards

By Mark Hughes (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-04-25 07:55
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BEIJING - A Beijing-based businessman from the United States is seeking $20 million from investors to fund a Chinese-style action adventure movie that he hopes will rival the James Bond franchise.

Craig Quick, who is well known in the city's music circles, presented a proposal to interested parties on April 24, including a summary of the film's plot, as part of the Beijing Film Festival.

Media veteran Quick, who is now the vice-president of Heshan Media, introduced bilingual radio to China through the program JOY FM on China Radio International as managing director of Broadcast East Asia Territories (BEAT) in the late 1990s. BEAT had operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines. He also created, licensed and staffed three radio stations in Hong Kong for the billionaire Li Ka Shing's Metro Broadcast Corp from 1990 to 1995. He was one of four broadcast professionals who did the startup planning for STAR TV before it was sold to international media mogul Rupert Murdoch. While in Hong Kong Quick was a Governor's appointee to the board of directors at Hong Kong Culture and Arts Foundation.

Chinese James Bond movie on the cards

The proposed film's plot involves principal characters Justice (Lin Zheng), and his twin sister Cherish (Lin Zhen Ai). They are the fictional seventh generation of the Lin family since their revered ancestor Lin Zexu (Lin Tse-hsu), a Chinese scholar and official during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). He is most famous for his active fight against opium smuggling in Guangzhou, which is usually considered to be the primary catalyst for the First Opium War from 1839 to 1842. A formidable bureaucrat known for his thoroughness and integrity, Lin was sent to Guangdong to halt the importation of opium by the British prior to the First Opium War (1838). He confiscated more than 20,000 chests of opium already at the port and supervised their destruction. He later blockaded the port from European ships. Lin also wrote a letter to Queen Victoria of Britain warning her that China was adopting a stricter policy towards everyone, Chinese or foreign, who brought opium into China.

In the proposed film, since that momentous event, the Lin family has been caught up in a vicious and bloody vendetta with drug lords, initially in China. With the advent of globalization, the fictional struggle has become worldwide with generation after generation of the Lin family suffering assassination at the hands of various drug kingpins, and, in turn, dealing swift and deadly justice to drug lords around the world.

Their parents, knowing their own death was imminent, gave the twin babies into the care of a Shaolin master, Kong Yang, whose own ancestors have been assisting the Lin family since the burning of the opium.

Justice and Cherish are raised by the monk in a very remote and hidden location. They have been immersed in training since they were old enough to walk. Both become wushu masters, and have learned all there is to know of weapons, explosives, special forces training, IT high tech capabilities, including hacking, and all manner of survival and death-dealing skills. They can drive anything that moves, flies or travels on or under the sea. They are now more skilled then 007, and with the additional strength of Chinese wisdom and philosophy.

It ends with the twins being told their next mission is in Paris, indicating Quick's intentions of making a sequel if the film takes off.

"We are looking for 30 percent of the budget from Chinese investors, 40 percent from tax credits and financial incentives provided by Canadian, US and Mexican film-encouragement programs and 30 percent from non-Chinese investors," said Quick.

"The tax credits and incentive programs are bankable, thus reducing the risk of loss to private investors to negligible levels. After the return of the original investment to the Chinese and international investors, the Chinese investors will share 50 percent of the profits from distribution in the Asian market, from the Philippines to South Korea and from West China down to Laos, including Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

"The international investors will get 50 percent of the profits from international distribution. There will also be a merchandising program with video game rights, book rights, toy rights et cetera."

Quick added that the cast and director will be selected shortly.

China Daily

(China Daily 04/25/2011 page14)