Rob Cohen, the filmmaker behind the original The Fast and the Furious, is set to direct Speedhunters, a car chase action-thriller for Sid Ganis' Jiaflix Pictures and China's 1905 Pictures.
Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, best known for the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises, the film is budgeted at $100 million and will begin shooting in July 2017 in Shanghai and at Germany's Studio Babelsberg, with other international locations to follow. The producers say a script has been submitted to Chinese regulators for consideration as an official China-U.S. co-production. The movie will feature a Chinese and international lead cast.
The partners describe the project as an action-thriller set in the world of Formula racing in the near future, "where a colorful team of racers and crew get drawn into high intrigue around a revolutionary technology threatening to change the world as we know it."
Scripted by Josh Parkinson (Eastbound & Down), the film is targeting a summer 2018 release.
Based in Beijing and Los Angeles, Jiaflix Pictures is a production, marketing and digital distribution company established by former Paramount exec Sid Ganis, Marc Ganis and Chinese entrepreneur Kenneth Huang. The company has a partnership with the state-backed China Movie Channel, and its subsidiary 1905 Pictures.
The partners teamed with di Bonaventura and Paramount Pictures in 2014 as production and China marketing partners for Transformers: Age of Extinction, which earned $320 million in the Middle Kingdom. 1905 Pictures also was an investor in Terminator Genisys (2015), Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation (2015) and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water (2015), among others.
"We are excited to work with Hollywood powerhouses Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Rob Cohen, both who have exceptional track records in developing and directing multi-billion dollar franchises," said Jiaflix president Marc Ganis in a statement.
Parkinson is represented by CAA, Gotham Group, and Adam Kaller of Hansen Jacobson.
Di Bonaventura is represented by CAA and Jacob Bloom at Bloom Hergott.