The first joint feature-film venture between China and New Zealand has commenced pre-production in Auckland.
“The Wonder” is a teen fantasy-adventure about two troubled teenagers finding rainbows and being taken on the rides of their lives! Willow Shields and Karl Urban are in discussions to star.
The US$20 million budgeted 3D feature film is being helmed by UK director, Peter Hewitt (“Garfield,” “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey”), with principal photography, shooting in Auckland, New Zealand and Lijiang, China, to begin in September.
Paul Lin’s Beijing-based media investment and production company, Show and Share Entertainment, is producing along with New Zealand producers Richard Fletcher and Allan Xia. The UK producing partners are Robert & Ashley Sidaway and Iain Brown.
Based on an original screenplay by the Sidaways, “The Wonder’s” script consultant is Feng Li, who wrote “House of the Flying Daggers” and “Hero”.
“It's a techno-fantasy story about troubled young people causing a major natural disaster by hurting nature and then having to put it right in a race against time!” said Robert Sidaway.
“It's been developed to entertain audiences in both the East and West, and is a truly creative collaboration with our Chinese partners,” added Sidaway.
The rainbow rides seen throughout the film are VFX driven and are currently underway. They will be both exhilarating and terrifying guaranteeing a thrill-filled journey for the audience.
Key crew include director of photography, Richard Bluck (“The Hobbit,” “Avatar,” “Lord of the Rings”) and production designer, David L. Snyder (“Blade Runner, “Demolition Man”)
“The Wonder” qualifies for the recently upped New Zealand Screen Production Grant.
The Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s (ATEED) film team also played a key role in facilitating the joint production by introducing the investor and co-producer from China.
“The Wonder 3D is a significant step towards creating deeper cultural and economic ties with China, and will hopefully be the catalyst for future co-productions between New Zealand and China,” says Brett O’Riley, ATEED’s Chief Executive.
Hyde Park International is handling worldwide sales, excluding China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
A showreel is available for viewing at the Marche du Film in Cannes.
Updated on 23rd July 2015