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Filmmaker gets going on epic franchise with old Chinese novel

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-08 08:01

Filmmaker gets going on epic franchise with old Chinese novel

Director Wuershan is among the three major figures behind the upcoming Fengshen trilogy. Photos provided to China Daily

The man behind the hits Painted Skin: The Resurrection and Mojin: The Lost Legend, ethnic Mongolian director Wuershan recently unveiled his plan to make the Fengshen trilogy.

The 45-year-old filmmaker says he hopes this will be China's own fantasy franchise like The Lord of the Rings.

Adapted from Fengshen Yanyi (Creation of the Gods), a 16th-century novel, the trilogy will begin filming in 2018 and be released over 2020-22, producers of the films said in Beijing in May.

The budget will be around 3 billion yuan ($441 million), the most expensive Chinese film project in history.

Loosely based on the history of the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th century-11th century BC), the novel revolves around Zhou, the dynasty's last king who killed people just to please his favorite concubine. But the tale, penned more than 1,000 years later by Xu Zhonglin, is a mix of mythology, folklore and real history.

Wuershan says he got the idea for the trilogy in 2001 after watching The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

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