Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)’s movie division, Alibaba Pictures Group, aims high with their debut as they have reportedly signed a couple of China’s most illustrious entertainment industry personalities.
According to Alizila, the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) movie arm which was organized last year has tapped Wong Kar-wai and Tony Leung for their movie debut.
Wong Kar-wai is the Hong Kong-based director responsible for acclaimed movies Chungking Express and In The Mood For Love. Wong is the first Chinese director to win the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival when he screened his film Happy Together in 1997.
Tony Leung, an admired actor in his own right and a Chinese singer, will be working again with Wong on the film titled The Ferryman. The film is set to debut in 2015.
The two Chinese entertainment industry veterans have worked together in seven feature films including Happy Together and their work relationship goes back as far as 1990 with the film Days of Being Wild. Leung won the Best Actor Award at Cannes for his role in Happy Together.
Apart from Wong and Leung, Zhang Jiajia will also be working on the film as its director, Alizila said. Zhang is also said to be the script writer for the film.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA)’s entry to the movie industry comes after it bought ChinaVision last year for $805 million. ChinaVision has since been renamed.
According to reports, the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) movie arm has signed deals with Wong’s Block 2 company, Peter Chan Ho-sun’s We Pictures and with Stephen Chow.
The Chinese electronic commerce giant’s play in the movie market is seen by industry observers as something similar to Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s move to produce its own content. Both companies already have the backbone for wide distribution of entertainment content.
Dan Loeb’s Third Point owned 7.2 million Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) shares by the end of the third quarter of 2014. The stake was valued then at about $923.45 million.