Mark Cuban’s Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, announced today that it has acquired North American distribution rights to Peter Ho-Sun Chan’s historical action epic, Warlords, featuring Jet Li (The Forbidden Kingdom), Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs) and Takeshi Kaneshiro (Returner).
Warlords was a huge critical and commercial hit in China, winning eight Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Director for Chan and Best Actor for Li.
Depicting the same historical events that were the basis for the Shaw Brothers classic Blood Brothers, the epic is set in the midst of war and political upheaval during the Taiping Rebellion of the 1860s. Jet Li stars as General Pang, who after a surviving a massacre of his fellow soldiers by playing dead, joins a band of bandits led by Er Hu (Andy Lau) and Wu Yang (Takeshi Kaneshiro). After fighting back attackers from an helpless village, the three men take an oath to become “blood brothers,” pledging loyalty to one another until death, but things quickly turn sour and the three men become embroiled in a web of political deceit, and a love triangle between Pang, Er Hu and a beautiful courtesan (Wu Jing-Lei).
“I was very impressed by Warlords,” said Magnolia’s Eamonn Bowles. “It’s very well made and has a Hong Kong action film dream cast. We’re excited to be bringing it to North American audiences.”
Magnolia plans to release Warlords late this summer.