STEP UP: CHINA: First Teaser Poster Signals Ron Yuan's Directorial Dance/Martial Arts Hybrid Debut For Lionsgate Co-Production

It was going to happen eventually, I reckon. Indeed, pick almost any dance movie in recent memory and you're bound to see some choreography blending a dose or several of martial arts. Such is what appears to be happening now over at Lionsgate who, joined by China’s Infinity Pictures/CMC and Yue Hua Entertainment Culture Communications, are now signaling their latest movement with the first teaser poster for a sixth installment of the Step Up franchise to begin on December 9 with locations in Beijing and Los Angeles.

Ron Yuan, a multifaceted film, acting and stunt professional with credits such as Blade, Steve Wang's acclaimed 1996 thriller Drive, The Art Of War, Black Dynamite, Blood And Bone and Gavin O'Connor's The Accountant, and hit shortfilms like the Michael Jai White-led Three Bullets and Ben Ramsey's award-winning hit short, Black Salt, will be making his directorial feature debut. Casting news remains pending but is confirmed for an all-Chinese cast to star from a script by Li Wei, and with Dede Nickerson (Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, Shaolin Soccer), and Du Hua, who is said to be greatly connected with various entities of film, music and dance throughout China, producing.

via Deadline:
“The Step Up franchise is celebrating its 10th anniversary stronger than ever,” says Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chairman Patrick Wachsberger and Motion Picture Group Co-President Erik Feig. “We’re proud to partner with Infinity and Yue Hua Entertainment on the next exciting chapter of a dance phenomenon that continues to grow in popularity around the world.” 
Nickerson, CEO of Infinity Pictures, adds, “We are excited to be a partner in this celebrated franchise and believe Step Up 6 will wow the Chinese audience.”
Check out the poster:

The report best describes the film as a celebration of the underdog that will unify people through dance and music. Reportedly, the move to make the tentatively titled Step Up: China was due partly to the franchise's appeal across Asian markets, including Taiwan and Korea. Anne Fletcher's 2006 teen dance drama, Step Up, is where the phenomenon began for the franchise, produced in the auspices of Touchstone Pictures and the Lionsgate-owned Summit along with Offspring Entertainment for the first three before the latter two moved on with the 2014 film, Step Up: All In, grossing the five-film franchise thusfar a total of well over $500 million dollars.

Other plans include partnerships for a live-action YouTube RED drama series as well as a major live stage show for the opening of Motiongate theme park next year for Dubai Parks & Resorts.

I actually look forward to this one from a martial arts fan's perspective as much as I love a good dance flick. Ron Yuan is terrific at what he does and so it's great to see him finally land a substantive gig as this one in all its potential. My favorites of the franchise are the second, third and fourth installments while the fifth really bugged me to bits with the editing, and hopefully they'll get that right this time.

Stay tuned!


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