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Public-listed China-based Recon Holding has reportedly acquired the majority interest in the independent film staple, Millennium Films according to a new press announcement. News of the deal in its development began circulating as early as last week.
The terms of the deal confirm that Recon Holding's 51% acquisition majority ownership stake in Millennium Films for $100 million (RMB 688 million) and its 300-film library with the option to acquire the remaining 49% thereafter. Avi Lerner and Trevor Short, who founded Millenium as a subsidiary of Nu Image in 1996, are remaining on board as Chief Executive Officer and Millennium Films and Chief Operating Officer, respectively, while Recon Chairman Dr. Tony Xia will serve as Chairman of Millennium Films.
The company is best known for its franchise properties including Rambo as well as The Expendables which is on deck to shoot a fourth installment this year, and the Gerard Butler led 'Fallen franchise which will continue with Angel Has Fallen. Millenium has accumulated 1.2 billion dollars at the worldwide box office since 2011, and has a slate that extends more with titles, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L, Jackson, the Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz-led Escobar and Butler's forthcoming novel adaptation, Hunter Killer with Gary Oldman.
“We are excited about our new partnership with Recon Holding led by Tony” said Messers. Lerner and Short. “China is emerging as the world’s largest market for premium filmed entertainment, and we see enormous value in placing the Chinese market at the forefront of our global strategy. Our films have experienced considerable success in China and in other markets around the world, and we feel there is significant value in partnering with an astute, experienced, and well-connected partner to help us execute our long-term strategy of making commercial movies for the global market place.”
“Since Avi and his partners founded the company, the Millennium Films organization has created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property that resonates with audiences on a global scale,” said Tony Xia, Chairman of Recon Group and Aston Villa Football Club. “We believe Millennium’s unparalleled portfolio of motion picture franchises and intellectual property provides significant opportunities for long-term growth as the company continues to maximize the value of its creative properties across multiple platforms and in multiple territories. This is an incredible opportunity for us to build upon Millennium’s premium brand by accessing a film market in China that continues to experience a period of unprecedented growth.”
The transaction is expected to close during Q2 of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
Millennium Films was advised by The Raine Group and Latham & Watkins LLP. Amir Malin of Qualia Capital also provided advice and counsel. Recon Holding was advised by China International Capital Corporation and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
Right about now you're waiting news over any and all pertaining to Chad Stahelski's John Wick: Chapter Three which is still in production. This week, some of the best news to arise now sees word that Tiger Chen, Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman have all joined the production starring opposite Keanu Reeves who returns to star.
A few photos have gone viral in recent weeks seeing Chen merely hinting a presence on set but this latest update is official. The three are said to play opposite Keanu Reeves according news over at The Hollywood Reporter with Chen back on set following a starring role in the 2014 kung fu spiritual drama, Man Of Tai Chi.
It's an update worth noting as it hopefully sets up for a larger Hollywood screen presence for all three martial arts stars who've seen their rise in all of the last nine years collectively, including that of Chen whose friendship dates back to production on The Matrix trilogy. Ruhian and Rahman have been earning their claim to…
Well this is spiffy. Who Taffy Edwards is remains a mystery while said individual sits in the directors chair for upcoming independent crime pic, English Dogs. The film is set to arrive sometime this year and has Time Rush actors Byron Gibson (Only God Forgives) and martial arts sensation, action actor Ron Smoorenberg (Asura) leading the cast.
Plot details are nil as things stand, save for what we can extrapolate from the official trailer that premiered on Wednesday in addition to the film's doughty tagline: "There are 340 breeds of Dogs on the Planet but there can only be one Alpha". And that's about all we got to work with along with what the trailer offers in its ambitious British gangster tropes with Thailand as the backdrop, and watching Gibson throwdown along with shots of Smoorenberg in his element on top of chewing some scenery as a crimeboss, which is always welcome.
Check out the trailer below!
The last few years have seen the wheels turn quite a bit for director Jesse Haaja who made history in debuting Finland's first comic book superhero movie, Rendel. Nowadays he's developing other properties including Furrow, but that doesn't necessarily count out prospects for a sequel while genre specialist Raven Banner has anything to say for it.
Such is what includes Jeremy Kay's Screen International report this weekend with word that sales on sequel to the Finnish superhero hit film have launched at the Cannes market. Producers at Black Lion Pictures and Frozen Flame Pictures are planning an early 2019 shoot on Rendel 2 which has Haaja returning to the helm to follow up the story of a family man previously resurrected from near-death with a brutal, masked alterego to seek revenge in the name of a city crying out for justice against a criminal organization and their pharmaceutical cohorts. “I can’t even describe how excited I am for this,” Haaja said of the ongoing sag…