SHANGHAI • Chinese technology giant Tencent, which has hit the jackpot with video game Fortnite, is betting next on Zhang Yimou's martial arts flick Shadow.
It will co-finance and help market the film, it said at its annual movie presentation in Shanghai.
Trade publication Variety reported that Zhang's work, in post-production now, zooms in on an epic story from the Three Kingdoms period, with Chinese actor-director Deng Chao doing double duty on screen as an ailing general and his body double.
His wife, actress Sun Li, also stars in the film, which is slated for a China release later this year.
Tencent is moving beyond video gaming to expand its entertainment empire, with overseas forays too - including high-profile Hollywood movies such as Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Wonder Woman (2017).
Zhang, meanwhile, stood front and centre on stage - instead of being behind the cameras - last month at Boston University, which gave him an honorary degree.
The citation said his movies "offer not only a perspective on the people and culture of China, but also a window into the universal qualities of human nature and yearning".