The Culture China — Image Nation Content Fund will financially back up the upcoming Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell’s collaboration film from Sony Pictures Entertainment. The yet-to-be-titled thriller is helmed by Academy Award-nominated director Dan Gilroy.
The film, which was previously titled Inner City, follows the story of a liberal lawyer named Roman J. Israel (played by Washington) whose work has always been dedicated to helping the marginalized and socially oppressed. Unfortunately, he never gets credit for his deeds due to other people taking advantage of him. However, when he is suddenly thrust into taking over the role of the law firm’s front man, he discovers that the institution that he has been working for has been doing unnerving things that contradict his very beliefs and principles. He is then forced to make a decision that will alter the course of his life.
In an exclusive report from Variety, the Washington-Farrell project is the first Hollywood venture that Culture China -- Image Nation Content Fund has selected to put money into. The partnership, which first came to fruition back in November, is a deal between the Chinese government-backed The China Intercontinental Communication Center and the United Arab Emirates Image Nation Abu Dhabi to invest in commercial film and TV programs not just in Hollywood but also worldwide. The fund which will last for seven years has a capital of between $100 million to $300 million.
Together in the financial mix for the movie with Culture China -- Image Nation Content Fund is Cross Creek -- who has a previously signed a co-financing deal with Sony. Macro and Lone Star Capital are also investing on the legal drama flick as well. The production team, on the other hand, is consisted of Jennifer Fox, Todd Black from Escape Artists and Brian Oliver from Cross Creek.
The movie has started filming in Los Angeles last month and a couple of set photos have emerged on the internet courtesy of filmmaker Matthew Cherry's Twitter. The snaps show Washington in character with baggy jeans, big round-frame glasses, and a poofy afro. Unfortunately, there is no sighting of Farrell -- whose role in the movie has not been confirmed yet.
It is no secret that the Chinese movie market is one of the biggest in the world. A lot of movies heavily bank on sales from Chinese release for big profits, or in some cases even just return of investment. With that, it can be assumed that the investors also want a say in what kinds of films get the greenlight based presumably on whether they will appeal to the Chinese market or not.