Netflix Picks up Chinese Fantasy Film ‘New Gods: Nezha Reborn’

Global streaming platform Netflix has picked up international rights to mainland Chinese animated feature “New Gods: Nezha Reborn.” The Light Chaser Animation Studios title was one of the seven major titles to release last week in Chinese cinemas over the peak Lunar New Year holiday period.

The platform has exclusive worldwide streaming rights outside mainland China. It did not confirm a date for international availability.

Gross box office in mainland China reached RMB235 million ($36.4 million) after six days on release. Ticketing and data service Maoyan forecasts that it will eventually finish with a RMB407 million ($63 million) total.

“Nezha Reborn” is the third high profile commercial title picked up by Netflix in the past couple of months. Earlier, the platform licensed “The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity,” a period fantasy action film by Guo Jingming which released on Dec. 25. It followed that with another of the Chinese New Year releases, “The Yin Yang Master,” directed by Li Weiran and produced through the Huayi Brothers studio.

“Nezha Reborn” was directed by animation director and editor Zhao Ji, who previously directed hit “White Snake.” It features a Mandarin-language voice case that includes Yang Tianxiang, Xuan Xiaoming, Ling Zhenhe, Zhu Ke’er and Li Shimeng.

The film is another retelling of the classic mythological text “The Romance of the Gods,” but modernized to give the setting Donghai City, a melting pot where gods and people from different cultures co-exist, look cool, contemporary and futuristic.

The revised story tells the tale of young god Nezha who is reborn as Li Yunxiang, a young daredevil delivery courier, some 3,000 years after the story’s original setting and the Battle of the Gods. Li discovers his true identity and valiantly battles the Dragon Clan, their masked assassin, and other enemies, to protect his friends and family in a tale of life and death.

Produced by Light Chaser, the film was backed by Alibaba Pictures, Bona Film Group and Chinese video entertainment platform Bilibili. It had a theatrical release in Singapore through Clover Films and is set to play in Japanese theaters from Feb. 26.

  • Separately, Netflix confirmed that it had picked up international rights to Park Hong-jung’s crime thriller “Night Call.” The film, which had its world premiere at the Venice festival last year, has scrapped its plans for a theatrical release and moves instead direct to streaming. Netflix expects to upload it from April 9, 2021.

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