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May 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Zhang Yimou

Chinese director Zhang Yimou, who staged the opening and closing ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and whose films include Raise the Red Lantern, Red Sorghum and Hero, has signed a deal to make movies for theaters and the Internet with Beijing-based Le Vision Pictures. The company is a unit of LeTV, a video website that is often compared with America’s Hulu. Robert Cain, a consultant on China to American film producers, noted in an interview with today’s (Wednesday) New York Times that while LeVision’s strength has been online, “they’ve been a pretty fair theatrical distributor as well.” The question now is what sort of budget will Zhang have to work with and what sort of films will he now produce. His last film, The Flowers of War, starring Christian Bale as an American priest caught in Nanking during the infamous Japanese massacre in 1937, turned out to be something of a disappointment at the box office. And Zhang may face the distraction of a scandal in which it is alleged that he fathered as many as seven children with three or four partners in violation of China’s “one child” policy.