According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wong Kar-wai is set to direct an online drama series. The 18-part show is part of a slew of development deals signed by Huanxi Media Group, an esteemed Chinese production company.
The 57-year-old auteur is bringing his brand of arthouse cinema to the internet realm. Kar-Wai is a Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker, internationally renowned for his visually engaging, highly stylised, and emotionally captivating work including As Tears Go By, Days of Being Wild, Ashes of Time, Chungking Express, Fallen Angels, Happy Together, 2046, The Grandmaster, and In the Mood for Love. He officially signed a deal with Huanxi Media Group to produce and co-direct an original drama series which is slated for digital distribution in China and around the world.
Huanix has agreed to spend $3.10 million-$3.85 million per episode which is high according to Chinese internet drama standards. The series will have two seasons, one with 12 episodes, and the other with six episodes. As of now, the plot of the story has not been revealed and it is not known who will be part of the cast for the online drama.
But Kar-wai is just one of the few Greater Chinese filmmakers Huanxi has brought on board for upcoming projects. Peter Chan, an influential Hong Kong producer and director has also partnered with the company. As part of Kar-Wai and Chan’s cooperation agreements, they have been given minority shares in Huanxi and both filmmakers will serve as artistic advisors at the company.
Xiang Shaokun, the CEO of Huanxi stated “The directors we signed today include both experienced internationally-renowned directors and new directors with great potential.” Adding “These partnerships with directors demonstrate our determination to create films of high commercial value and artistic quality, and major steps towards creating a content powerhouse in the Chinese film market.” The series will be available to watch through a streaming service but no word as to whether the show will premiere on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.
The first season of Kar-wai’s mysterious online drama series is expected to be finished with production in 2017.