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Chinese Fantasy Romance Epic, ONCE UPON A TIME, Slates An August 3D North American Release

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Acclaimed cinematographer Xiaoding Zhao (House of Flying Daggers, The Great Wall, The Flower of War, The City of Golden Armor) and decorated VFX wizard Anthony LaMolinara (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2) will both be making a feature directorial debut this year partnering for the new fantasy romance epic, Once Upon A Time. The film takes its cues from Tang Qi's popular novel, "Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles Of Peach Blossoms", which led to Gcoo Entertainment's TV series succession, Eternal Love. ONCE UPON A TIME is a story of epic battles, deep passion, life-threatening evil, and the power of magic. Bai Qian, a goddess and monarch from the Heavenly Realms, is sent to the mortal world to undergo a trial to become a High Goddess. There, she meets Ye Hua with whom she falls in love and marries. However, when an old enemy reappears in her life, everything she holds dear becomes threatened. Spanning a thousand years of tangled lives, ONCE UPON A TIME is an epic tale of th…

MUMON: THE LAND OF STEALTH Wages Full On Ninja War In The International Trailer!

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Popular auteur Nakamura Yoshihiro is getting July off to a swift start for the release of his latest. Mumon: The Land Of Stealth. With actor Ono Satoshi leading the cast, the film's July 1 opening in Japan will be proceeded by its opening night starpower at this year's 11th installment of Japan Cuts in New York City on July 13. Raised suckling poison arrows among the sparring Iga ninja factions, Mumon (Satoshi Ohno, of idol group Arashi) is a carefree 16th-century mercenary. When the ninja council makes a power play to defeat the young Nobukatsu Oda struggling to step into his father’s warlord shoes as they expand rule across the country, Mumon jumps into the fray to satisfy his new bride Okuni’s (Satomi Ishihara of Shin Godzilla, Attack on Titan) demand that he make good on his promises of wealth. Yet Mumon soon finds what is worth fighting for beyond money or nation. Also starring are Suzuki Ryohei, Chinen Yuri, Taira Yuna, Kunimura Jun and Iseya Yūsuke. As promised, an Engl…

Catch The Official Trailer For The 16th New York Asian Film Festival!

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The 16th annual New York Asian Film Festival kicks off next Friday with a line-up jam-packed with noted favorites. 57 feature films including 3 International Premieres, 21 North American Premieres, 4 U.S. Premieres, and 15 films making their NYC debuts as well as in-person appearances by more than 20 film professionals are what's at stake this summer, thus promising a fine feat of festival furor. Get wooed by die-hard romantics, unnerved by devil children, and bear witness to the fury of angry young men on paths of destruction in the sweet sixteenth edition of the New York Asian Film Festival. Wild cinematic outings that always have something to say about the human condition, this summer’s crop of titles range from the heartwarming to the desperately dark. Dive headfirst into the raging sea of talent from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and across South East Asia—filmmakers unafraid to take on controversial subjects and explore complex emotions.That's the wind-up …

Director Renny Harlin To Helm Chinese-Language Action Adventure Thriller, THE HANGING COFFIN

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Acclaimating amply to the Asian aesthetic is noted Hollywood director Renny Harlin since relocating to Beijing, China in the last few years. With projects like Skiptrace and the recent production of Legend Of The Ancient Sword under his belt, Harlin is now readying his third Chinese-language film, The Hanging Coffin.
The film was announced on Sunday last weekend at the top of the 20th installment of the Shanghai International Film Festival. Plot details are unclear while Harlin will direct from a script by The Shallows scribe Tony Jaswinski which will boast an "action adventure-cum-thriller featuring extreme sports, tomb raiding and mutant creatures" according to THR.
The film hails from Shanghai Film Group and Shanghai New Wave Films and is expected to cast both Hollywood and Chinese talent in the coming months.

THE FOREIGNER Emerges In The First Official U.S. Poster

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Honorary Oscar winner Jackie Chan is in Shanghai stirring a ruckus for attendees and fellow stars at the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival. More news on this will rollout eventually and there will be plenty to sift over amid the buzz for Chan and his upcoming titles, and the same goes for the Fall release of the new thriller, The Foreigner, which is getting an October 13 release from STX.
The film takes its cues from Stephen Leather's novel, The Chinaman and is adapted for the screen by David Marconi with Casino Royale helmer Martin Campbell directing. Chan is joined by Pierce Brosnan, Liu Tao and Katie Leung for the story of a South London restaurant owner who reverts to the lethal skillset built in his dark past, paving his own way for vengeance after an IRA terrorist attack that kills his family and the justice system fails him.
The film has already made itself a share of festival appearances with a few gamey one-sheets but we now have an official first poster for its …

Disney's HAN SOLO Spin-Off Replaces Its Directors With Ron Howard

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It's been an eventful week for the Star Wars/Han Solo spin-off. The departure of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller due to their creative fallout with writer and executive producer Lawrence Kasdan has been a severely upsetting development for a lot of fans who might be keen on the film's delivery aside from any previous measure of skepticism.

Production remains on hiatus until July 10 as the studio tries to quell the upheaval and the first step they've now taken is finding a replacement, now confirmed with the attachment of In The Heart Of The Sea helmer Ron Howard. The film has Alden Ehrenreich starring in the title role for an origin narrative with Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Thandie Newton starring.

Howard's attachment does have a few things going for it, with his status as an Oscar-winning director with credits such as Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind, as well as his history with Lucasfilm patriarch George Lucas on projects su…

BATTLESHIP ISLAND: Catch The Latest Trailer And Poster For Ryoo Seung-Wan's Wartime Escape Thriller

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For all intents and purposes, it's worth reminding not to forget about director Ryoo Seung-Wan's latest, Battleship Island. Thus, I'm inclined to share the most recent trailer for the film which opens in Korea on June 30 as it boasts a massively entertaining wartime epic from a fine director and cast.
That roster is led by actors Hwang Jung-Min, So Ji-Sub and Song Joong-Ki as survivors among hundreds of others held prisoner and forced into manual slave labor on Hashima Island by the Japanese during World War II. The film is already host to over a hundred territories for its roll out including my backyard here in North America so definitely look for this one from your region's distributor following its South Korean open in early July.
You could literally accredit Ryoo for any of his films leading up to this apart from the 2015 action comedy, Veteran, but I suspect Battleship Island will only elongate that list on an apples-to-apples basis. And his are some damn good a…

Kevin Costner And Woody Harrelson In Talks For Netflix Bonnie & Clyde Crime Drama, HIGHWAYMAN

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John Lee Hancock (The Founder, Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side) will direct Highwayman in a deal long in the works that now sees the lingering crime drama in development at its new home at Netflix. The project was initially brewing at Universal Pictures for four years with a script by John Fusco that has since been redone by Hancock.
The film, according to Deadline, is the long-awaited feature-length treatment of the Depression Era story told from the angle of Frank Hamer and Manny Gault as they led a posse of commissioned lawmen to bring an end to the infamous and deadly crime spree led by Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in the 1930s. Actors Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson are in early talks to star in the respective roles of Hamer and Gault, the former known as a legendary Texas Ranger who survived 53 gunfights and killed 100 people.
Given the narrative, it's noticeably familiar-sounding ground for Costner who led the cast opposite Robert DeNiro's Al Capone in Brian De P…

Action Drama AMERICAN FIGHTER Taps Shaun Piccinino To Direct For ESX

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Acclaimed director and film multi-hyphenate Shaun Piccinino is set to direct American Fighter for ESX Entertainment. The film is a sequel to last year's American Wrestler: The Wizard which starred actor George Kosturos in the 1980-set tale of a young Iranian teen transplanted into a new town where he's forced to face adversity from all angles after joining the high school wrestling team.
Kosturos is returning to the sequel according to a new report from Variety which also lists Tommy Flanagan, Bryan Craig, Sean Patrick Flanery and Parviz Sayyad attached to star. Forrest Lucas, Ali Afshar, Christina Moore and Anna Zielinski are producing the film with a story by Afshar that now centers on a desperate teen who builds character between opponents upon competing in the underground fight circuit to save his dying mother. “Continuing down the line of a ‘Rocky’ meets ‘Karate Kid’ story, this new ‘American Wrestler’ movie remains a very heartfelt project for me,” Afshar said. “The res…

GINTAMA: THE MITSUBA ARC: A Tale Of Brotherly Love, Rivalry And Loyalty In The First Trailer For The Web Drama Spin-Off

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The end is almost nigh for the wait until Fukuda Yuichi's release of the new movie, Gintama, inspired by the pages of Sorachi Hideaki's popular manga and subsequent anime series. The film is readying for a world premiere at Fantasia Fest next month followed by another screening in Bucheon later this year while Japan audiences gear up for a July 14 release with a live-action take on the Benizakura Arc.
For this, we turn to the continuation of the tale now in the form of a three-part web drama that will stream on July 15 on Japan's dTV platform with Gintama: The Mitsuba Arc, which delves heartily into the back story of the bittersweet rivalry between the two elite members of Edo's samurai police unit, The Shinsengumi. Actors Yagira Yuga, Yoshizawa Ryo and Nakamura Kankuro are back along with, and supermodel and actress Kitano Kie in the respective roles of Hijikata Toshiro, Okita Sogo, Kondo Isao and Mitsuba, Sogo's beloved sister.
Of course, there's also Oguri …