The Hollywood Reporter has brought word that STXfilms and Tencent’s upcoming adaptation of the popular Chinese manga Zombie Brother has entered talks with The Final Girls and Isn’t it Romantic director Todd Strauss-Schulson to helm the project.
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Since 2011, the digital comic book has garnered more than 17 billion views over 348 episodes, and its animated series has attracted more than 3.7 billion views across its first two seasons. The franchise has also been adapted into a mobile game and a popular stage play, which has had a record-breaking run of sold out shows across the region.
“Since its inception, STX Entertainment has been committed to producing, marketing and distributing universally resonant content across all platforms, with a particular focus on bridging the U.S. and Chinese markets,” Adam Fogelson, Chairman of STXfilms, a division of STX Entertainment, said in a previous statement. “As an early investor in STX, Tencent has been a strong strategic partner and we’re honored to be collaborators in bringing its most valuable IP to new audiences around the world. With Tencent Pictures’ awesome ecosystem of entertainment channels and Free Association’s creative acumen, we think there is no end to the storytelling opportunities of this franchise.”
In addition to having directed the acclaimed horror-comedy The Final Girls and the well-received meta romantic comedy Isn’t it Romantic, Strauss-Schulson also helmed three episodes of the MTV sitcoms The Inbetweeners and Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous.
“Todd is the perfect choice for Zombie Brother,” STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson said Monday in a statement. “His films thrive with a heart, energy, comic pace and visual inventiveness all their own.”
The film version will be scripted by Alex Rubens (Rick and Morty, Keanu) and Ryan Engle (Rampage, The Commuter) and will follow a Chinese character in New York leading a group of survivors in a fight to stay alive during a zombie apocalypse.
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“We are thrilled to be joining forces with STX Entertainment on one of Tencent Animation and Comics’ excellent properties, Zombie Brother. It has been an incredible pleasure to explore new possibilities with STX. Teamed alongside our gifted producers at Free Association, we look forward to bringing Zombie Brother as a uniquely fun and fresh film for the enjoyment of audiences everywhere,” Edward Cheng, Vice President of Tencent and CEO of Tencent Pictures, added in a prior statement.
“We’ve long been inspired by STX’s commitment to high-quality storytelling that authentically speaks to audiences on both sides of the Pacific. We couldn’t imagine better partners as we continue to work with Edward, Howard and the wonderful Tencent team on this beloved property. It’s a pleasure to welcome them to the Zombie Brother party,” Peter Kiernan of Free Association said in a previous statement.
STXfilms will distribute the film domestically and Tencent Pictures will distribute in China. Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Peter Kiernan and Michael Parets will produce for Free Association, and Edward Cheng, Howard Chen, and Conor Zorn will produce for Tencent Pictures. STXfilms’ Chairman Adam Fogelson and head of production Sam Brown will oversee the film for the studio.