DreamWorks sees global potential in Tibet Code

Updated: 2013-06-08 15:01


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CHENGDU, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Popular Chinese adventure novel series The Tibet Code will be turned into an animated film with the potential to become a global blockbuster, Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, has told Xinhua.

"I just think it's a fantastic story. It could be for China, like the Indiana Jones and The Da Vinci Code films," said Katzenberg on Friday on the sidelines of the ongoing 2013 Global Fortune Forum in southwest China's city of Chengdu.

The film will be co-produced by Oriental DreamWorks, a Chinese company co-owned by DreamWorks, and the state-owned China Film Group.

In The Tibet Code, written by Chinese novelist He Ma, an expert on the Tibetan mastiff embarks on an epic journey searching for ancient Buddhist treasure in Tibet. The story also features animals of various species, pre-historical scenes and ancient Tibetan legends.

The Tibet Code series, 10 books in total, has sold over 10 million copies in China.

Having read the English translations, Katzenberg said, "The books themselves are not political. The movie shouldn't be assumed to be controversial and political."

Though he has never been to Tibet, Katzenberg said he and the creative team plan to visit the region in preparation for the film.

The 62-year-old is known for his sharp instinct in finding global hits. He created the Shrek franchise, whose five films have grossed more than $3.5 billion across the world. The Kung Fu Panda franchise and The Croods are also global blockbusters.

Although China's growing animation industry still faces a shortage of creative talent and a well-developed industrial chain, Katzenberg said, "I'm completely confident that there are talented kids here. If we give them the time and the tools and the mentorship to teach them, they will be great world-class animators. But it will take many years."

A series of tie-ins between Hollywood and Chinese firms has been announced in recent years, trying to tap into China, now the world's second-largest movie market after the United States.

DreamWorks has been expanding its presence here. In addition to The Tibet Code, it will co-produce Kung Fu Panda 3 with the Shanghai-based Oriental DreamWorks.

The two partners said previously that they will make up to three motion pictures per year. They also plan to invest over 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) to build an animation studio and an entertainment complex in Shanghai that will include theaters, restaurants and tourist attractions.