Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War has been in U.S. cinemas a matter of days and already it’s been a huge hit, amassing enormous profits in its opening weekend. Since opening in China, it’s also wowed audiences there too, and for good reason: Civil War gives us everything we want from an Avengers movie without actually being one. Instead, it retains the identity of Steve Rogers’ solo outings while introducing a host of new and familiar franchise faces, including Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man and Paul Bettany’s Vision, as well as new additions Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland).
With the success of this latest superhero offering, directors Joe and Anthony Russo are set to produce a Chinese franchise to target the Asian market. THR reports the brothers are joining forces with a Beijing production company in order to produce a new franchise dubbed by some as “Captain China”. In March of this year, the Russos established a boutique studio by the name of Anthem & Song to make movies aimed at the ever-growing Chinese-language market, which is set to become the highest grossing box office market next year.
While domestic U.S. box office takings warrant a lot of attention, especially when movies and studios break records just as Disney has in regards to topping $1 billion in sales in just 128 days, it’s worth noting that the Chinese box office is hugely important too. The working title for this latest venture is A Hero’s Awakening when translated into English, which might only be a temporary name but is reminiscent of the most recent Star Wars episode, The Force Awakens. FangJin CEO Li Xing commented:
“It is fair to say that the Russos are regarded as heroes in the global film business… In the future, everyone will be focused on the China market. By working with the Russos, we want to use the best visual storytelling to make localized films that fit the Chinese market.”
It’s true, the Chinese market is absolutely massive – and far bigger than anyone who doesn’t punch box office numbers will be aware of. In Civil War’s opening weekend it made an impressive $95.8 million, which is the second-biggest three-day début for a Hollywood film in China ever. Obviously with the country’s population at almost 1.4 billion, on paper it’s a market that’s clearly an important region to appeal to.
A Hero’s Awakening already has a co-director in Anthony Leonardi III (a concept artist on Game of Thrones, Disney’s The Jungle Book and upcoming epic Kong: Skull Island). The first film will begin a franchise trilogy, with a Chinese-led cast and the Russos themselves overseeing the casting decisions. As per the likes of any big Marvel or Star Wars entry, the plot is being kept firmly under wraps.
Whether this new franchise will make its way to U.S. theaters (and with any sort of English dub) is unclear, but with the Russos on board and an audience thirst for even more superhero movies, don’t be surprised if A Hero’s Awakening performs extremely well at the box office and makes a global name for itself.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018;Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.