Well Go USA Entertainment has taken all North American rights to Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s martial arts epic “The Assassin” ahead of its Cannes competition premiere on May 21. No word yet on the release date from Well Go, which also has a joint distribution venture in Taiwan. Expect a VOD push from the company, which specializes in multi-platform releases, from home entertainment to theatrical.
The China-financed film endured decades of stop-and-go development and production before becoming Hou’s seventh Cannes competition contender. A departure from his recent dramas including “La Belle Epoque,” this martial arts epic shows Hou painting on a much bigger canvas — and with a budget of around $15 million dollars.
Starring Shu Qi, Chang Chen and Satoshi Tsumabuki, “The Assassin” is set in 9th-century, Tang Dynasty China, where the 10-year-old daughter of a general is abducted by a nun who then transforms the girl into an ass-kicking, martial arts assassin tasked with wiping out corrupt governors. After failing an assignment, she is sent back to her homeland with orders to kill the cousin who now steers the largest military region in North China.
The deal was negotiated by Doris Pfardrescher, President and CEO of Well Go USA Entertainment, with Carole Baraton of Wild Bunch.