Sony Pictures Television and Chinese online video platform iQIYI have partnered to co-produce a Mandarin-language version of the Crackle series Chosen.
Remade as a trilogy, the Chinese adaptation will be produced by SPT's Sydney-based Playmaker Media with financial support from Screen NSW. The series is expected to feature an A-list Chinese cast, as well as international talent and crew. Production will begin in spring 2017 with an anticipated launch on iQIYI's platforms in the fall.
Chosen began airing on Sony's Crackle in 2013 and aired for three cycles. The U.S. version starred Milo Ventimiglia, Chad Michael Murray and Rose McGowan. An action thriller, the show follows a family that becomes drawn into a deadly game but ultimately binds together to save each other.
iQIYI, a subsidiary of Chinese search giant Baidu, is at the vanguard of China's booming online video market. The streamer's senior vice president, Yang Xianghua, said at a Beijing press conference Thursday: "Quality control is key to the development of any industry and iQIYI strives to make the best possible resources available to raise the level of craft in net film production."
Earlier this week, iQIYI extended a major output deal with Lionsgate. The agreement includes top upcoming releases from the mini-major, such as Mark Wahlberg's Patriots Day and American Assassin, as well some library titles.
Sony's other tie-ups in the Middle Kingdom include an alliance with Dalian Wanda Group, under which the Chinese conglomerate will provide local marketing support for Sony's theatrical releases in China, as well as take minority equity stakes in some tentpoles.