HNG KONG – Man of Steel's promotional blitz of China just got a boost, as the Superman reboot’s director and star are now set to appear at the film's gala premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
The festival announced Thursday that Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill will both be present at the screening in Shanghai on June 19, a day before the film is to open wide in mainland China.
Rather than a festival initiative, Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures approached the festival’s organizing committee to have their film involved in the event, the statement released by the festival added.
“All our crew members are very excited about the event, and we are delighted to share this film with you,” said Snyder in the statement.
The only Hollywood blockbuster to be released in mainland China in June, Man of Steel is expected to perform well in the country. Competition might come in the shape of homegrown films, such as the Jet Li police actioner Badges of Fury (June 28) and Keanu Reeves’ Man of Tai Chi (a China Film Group/Village Roadshow co-production bowing in China on July 5), while the next U.S. imports to open in China will be After Earth and Fast & Furious 6 in mid-July.
Snyder and Cavill are the latest Hollywood figures to announce attendance in Shanghai for China's only A-list film festival. Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper is chairing the competition jury of this year's festival and will be in Shanghai for the duration. Helen Mirren will also be present at the festival to accompany a screening of Hitchcock, while her husband, the director Taylor Hackford, will attend the opening ceremony as the president of the Film Directors' Guild of America and also introduce his latest film, Parker. And Oliver Stone will be in town to scoop up an Outstanding Achievement Award and is to be honored with a retrospective of his oeuvre at the festival. The director will appear for Q&As after screenings of seven of his films, including JFK, Wall Street, Platoon, Born of the Fourth of July and Savages.
Meanwhile, the festival also announced on Thursday that Hong Kong director Tsui Hark will be bestowed with an Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Film award at the festival.
Tsui, who made his directorial debut in 1979 with The Butterfly Murders before making his name both locally and internationally with the Once Upon A Time in China and A Chinese Ghost Story series, will receive the award at the festival’s opening ceremony on June 15.
The filmmaker’s next film, Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, will be one of the most high-profile projects to feature in the festival’s film market this year. The sequel to the hit Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame is produced by Huayi Brothers studio, which will be unleashing its slate at the festival on June 16.
Tsui was given the award because he “has constantly added new ideas, thoughts, styles and technologies to his films, injecting fresh vitality and constantly rewriting Chinese cinema history,” according to the festival’s announcement.
The Shanghai festival will run from June 15 to 23, with the three-day film market beginning officially on June 17.