The Wandering Earth has become a runaway hit in China and being hailed as the first of China’s many Science Fiction blockbusters designed to stand alongside Hollywood’s blockbusters. Now the next entries are going to have to keep up that momentum. The second of China’s big SciFi blockbusters is going to be the alien invasion movie Shanghai Fortress.
Adapted from a novel by Jiang Nan, the story takes place in 2042 when Shanghai becomes the last city standing as the last of the human resistance takes a stand against an invading alien force.
The movie was first announced back in 2014 as part of an investment package to produce three big budget Science Fiction movies for the Chinese market. Shanghai Fortress was expected to be the first of these movies to be released, but The Wandering Earth has beaten it to the cinemas to become the first Chinese Science Fiction blockbuster. Its huge box office success bodes well for Shanghai Fortress’ chances for success since it proves there’s a hunger for the genre amongst Chinese audiences.
Where The Wandering Earth had a message of international cooperation to save the world and didn’t play the patriotic propaganda card, Shanghai Fortress has a more conventional Us vs. Them story with Chinese troops fighting an alien invading force. It’ll be interesting to read who the invading alien force is supposed to be a metaphor for this summer. It’s being touted as China’s answer to Independence Day. The patriotic message is probably going to be a lot more pronounced.
Shanghai Fortress is directed by Teng Huatao and stars Chinese star Lu Han and Taiwanese star Shu Qi, who has been a mainstay in many Hong Kong and Chinese romantic comedies and Taiwanese arthouse director Hou Hsiao Hsien’s award-winning movies such as Flowers of Shanghai and The Assassin.
Shanghai Fortress will open wide in China this Summer and will probably open in AMC cineplexes in major cities in the US. Whether the studio decides it will open in as many as 22 US cities as The Wandering Earth has remains to be seen.