Sony Pictures Classics has announced its production partnership and the acquisition of rights in North America, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand to Zhang Yimou's currently untitled film, a remake of the Coen Brothers' 1984 debut feature, Blood Simple. The film will be produced by Bill Kong.
The film will mark the eleventh collaboration between Zhang Yimou and the Sony Pictures Classics team, dating back to 1991's Raise the Red Lantern. The relationship includes such films as Story of Qui Ju, Shanghai Triad, House of Flying Daggers, and Zhang's most recent film, the 2006 martial arts epic Curse of the Golden Flower starring Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat. Sony Pictures Classics also owns the rights to Zhang's first film, 1987's Red Sorghum.
Sony Pictures Classics Co-Presidents and Co-Founders, Michael Barker and Tom Bernard jointly stated: "The idea of a remake of Blood Simple as seen through the eyes of Zhang Yimou's masterful visual elegance and clever narrative twists is genius. Our continued partnership over the years with both Zhang Yimou and Bill Kong has always been so fruitful. We are excited to be back in business with them."
The film will also be SPC's fifth collaboration with producer Bill Kong which began in 2000 with Ang Lee's Academy Award winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the highest-grossing foreign language film in U.S. box office history, and includes House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower.
Zhang Yimou stated, "I am very happy working with Sony Pictures Classics again, they have always done a great job and I am looking forward to be with them again."
"I am so excited to be with Tom and Michael again, especially as this is the first film from Zhang Yimou after his 2008 Olympic Opening Event," added Kong.
Zhang's film will be a thriller-comedy remake of Joel & Ethan Coen's Blood Simple, set in a Chinese noodle shop in a sand dune-specked desert, rather than a bar in an unnamed Texas town. The owner of the noodle shop's seemingly simple plan to murder his adulterous wife and her lover quickly spins out of control after the introduction of a gun into the lives of characters more accustomed to knives and swords.