CJ ENM Hong Kong, an offshoot of South Korean conglomerate CJ ENM, has unveiled a slate of four Mandarin-language scripted series. They are to be independently made and targeted at the global streaming market.
Three involve a partnership with the Singapore government’s InfoComm Media Development Authority. A fourth is made with Taiwanese partner company, Butt Mountain.
Earlier this week parent company CJ ENM announced an international expansion of its content production activities and committed itself to spending $4.4 billion over the period to end 2025.
“2021 is a year for us here at CJ ENM HK to expand our local language productions for the global streaming audience. Apart from our existing production operation in Thailand, we also want to do more premium scripted content in Mandarin and Bahasa languages,” said Michael Jung, MD of CJ ENM Hong Kong in a prepared statement.
Singapore’s Zhao Wei Films will work with the company to deliver five-part mini-series “Hungry Souls.” Spearheaded by director and producer Eric Khoo, the series tells a forbidden love story between a young chef and a hungry ghost. Parts of Southeast Asia believe that the gates of Hell open annually, allowing ghosts to enjoy earthly pleasure for a month per year.
“Venus On Mars” is a six-part sci-fi, romantic comedy series about an undergraduate student who is accidentally transported into a parallel world where there are only men. The protagonist re-evaluates her thoughts on feminism, gender equality, life, and love. Showrunning the series is one of Singapore’s most prolific and award-winning filmmakers, Chai Yee Wei.
Production through Mocha Chai Laboratories is headed by Michelle Chang and Taiwanese producer, Phil Tang, GM of Greener Grass Productions and Monomyth Films. “Venus” is written by award-winning Taiwanese writer Huang Yu-chia. Filming is set to take place in Taiwan and post-production in Singapore.
Akanga Film Asia (“Apprentice”) will deliver “Deep End,” a five-part psychological thriller about online cyber-crime in Asia. Investigations into a revenge porn murder spark a chain of events that plunge a troubled police officer into the dark world of cybersex crime.
Production is by Fran Borgia (“Crazy Rich Asians,” “A Land Imagined”). It will be directed by Yeo Siew Hua (“A Land Imagined”) and K. Rajagopal (“A Yellow Bird”). The pair share writing credits with playwright and screenwriter, Kaylene Tan as head-writer.
All three series will finish casting and start production in the second half of 2021. CJ ENM HK will distribute them globally.
Butt Mountain’s “Mom, Don’t Do That” is a fact-based book-to-series adaptation of a story about a middle-aged woman who relentlessly surfs the web to find love. It stars Taiwanese singer-actor Billie Wang (aka ‘super-hot mom’ with other cast including Alyssa Chia, Alice Ko, Chris Wu, and Austin Lin. Production is by Chia with Sarso Chou, Weiling Chen and Michael Jung set as executive producers.
CJ ENM HK will handle distribution within Asia (excluding Taiwan and mainland China). The series is now in post-production and set to release in Q4 this year.
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