Rock Dog (摇滚藏獒), the Hollywood adaptation of Tibetan Rock Dog, a graphic novel about a Tibetan Mastiff that comes to Beijing and makes it big as a rock and roller, has finally hit cinema screens in China.

The graphic novel, first published in 2009 by Chinese rock star Zheng Jun, was based on bedtime stories he would tell his daughter. The film version is directed by American Ash Brannon (Toy Story 2, Surf’s Up).

While funding for the film comes from China, the production took place entirely in the United States at by Reel FX, an award-winning American digital studio. Hopes are high that the film will be able to appeal to both Chinese and Western audiences.

At U.S. $60 million, Rock Dog will be one of the most expensive animated films China has ever financed. Rock Dog debuts during the best summer for animated films ever in China, with Hollywood products such as Zootopia leading the way.

Despite its Chinese creators and themes, the film’s original language is English, and features voice work by Hollywood veterans Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, Matt Dillon, and Sam Elliot.

The Chinese-language version of the film features voices from popular cross talk comedian Guo Degang and his son, Guo Qilin, as well as famed director Feng Xiaogang.

《摇滚藏獒》冯小刚配音老牛

Making a film with an international team for a global audience has not been straightforward, admits creator Zheng Jun.

“I had to fire several of Hollywood’s best screenwriters because they insisted on their ideas,” he recently told the Wall Street Journal. “If we had followed those ideas, this film will be a pure Hollywood film which doesn’t have much to do with us.”

The film premiered in Beijing last Monday with Ye in attendance along with Huayi Brothers CEO Wang Zhonglei, producer Wang Xiaomei, director Ash Brannon, author Zheng Jun and his wife, Liu Yun.

The release hasn’t been without controversy though, as allegations swirl that Wanda Cinema Line is willfully sabotaging the box office prospects of the Huayi Brothers’ film by limiting screenings of the film. 

Photos: tv1995.com


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