It looks like they are filming movies at Wanda Studios in Qingdao after all.
There have been reports that the Wanda Studios project has been a bust and that Hollywood will shun Wanda in Qingdao.
Whether this turns out to be the actual situation is up in the air, much like a George Clooney movie. There are some major sequel projects scheduled for shooting in Qingdao, according to the Hollywood Reporter:
“Legendary/Universal’s Pacific Rim 2, the sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s monster movie Pacific Rim, will be the first U.S. production to shoot at the Qingdao studio. Announced Monday, Legendary/Warner Bros.’ Godzilla 2, the follow-up to Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, also will shoot at the studio.”
This news was announced when Wanda kingpin Wang Jianlin gathered Hollywood bigwigs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in October of 2016 to listen to a pitch for his studios located on the Huangdao side of Jiaozhou Bay.
Travel between Huangdao and Qingdao is now easier than ever, either via the Jiaozhou Bay undersea tunnel (check out Da Wei’s photos from a bus trip through the Qingdao – Huangdao tunnel) and the world’s longest sea bridge.
The mayor of LA Eric Garcetti, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the surprisingly controversial Matt Damon were all in attendance at the 2016 event designed to promote Qingdao as the new Eastern Hollywood.
While Wanda has not been shy about involving Hollywood A-listers to promote their studios in Qingdao, perhaps inviting Matt Damon (one of the stars of Zhang Yimou’s Great Wall, a film made in Qingdao at Wanda Studios that has been accused of being culturally insensitive in “whitewash” casting – though at least one Asian American film reviewer says this claim does not reflect the actual story of the film) wasn’t such a good idea after all.
“On December 8, the production opening ceremony of ‘Iron Sky: The Ark,’ the third installment of the cult ‘Iron Sky’ franchise, took place in Qingdao, China. Directed by Finish Director Timo Vuorensola and stars Andy Garcia (‘The Godfather Part III’) and Duan Yihong (‘The Looming Storm’), the film tells the story of a few Chinese scientists who successfully decipher a message from the moon and save the earth from environmental issues and exhaustion of resources. Vuorensola previously lived in China for five months and discovered Chinese mythology, which inspired him to write this story. ‘Iron Sky: The Ark’ is eyeing a Chinese New Year release in early 2019.”
Fans of Duan Yihong may be excited to catch a glimpse of the young Chinese heartthrob around town, but he may not even leave the Wanda Studios Qingdao complex, which boasts a hotel, shopping mall, and many amenities that will allow Hollywood stars, personnel, and locals alike to revel in the glory of Tinseltown history in the making.
Check out the Atlantic’s take on the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, “a vast development that includes a movie studio, a theme park and entertainment center, a 4,000-room resort-hotel complex, a shopping mall, a 300-berth yacht club, a celebrity wax museum, and a hospital.”
Wanda Studios offers more information about Qingdao on their site. Here’s some info from Wanda group on the 2013 opening of the movie metropolis in Huangdao, in the Qingdao development zone.