Chinese ‘Step Up’ Sequel in Motion at Lionsgate

Franchise has been a major hit in several Asian markets

Step Up Ryan Guzman

Lionsgate is finalizing plans to join forces with Chinese companies Infinity Pictures/CMC and Yue Hua Entertainment Culture Communications to shoot a Chinese-language version of “Step Up,” its hit dance flick franchise, TheWrap has learned.

Ron Yuan, an action choreographer with a martial arts background, is directing “Step Up 6,” which will start shooting in Beijing and Los Angeles on Dec. 9. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters next year.

Dede Nickerson, who produced “Kill Bill Vol. I and II” and “Shaolin Soccer,” and Du Hua are producing the film.

The five previous “Step Up” films have combined to make $651 million worldwide. But while they’ve been very popular in places like South Korea, none of the three most recent “Step Up” movies, “Step Up 3D,” “Step Up Revolution” and “Step Up All In,” made it to the Chinese market.

Duane Adler created the hip-hop dance romance franchise, which debuted with 2006’s “Step Up,” starring now-married Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum in the lead roles. Actors and dancers including Ryan Guzman, Kathryn McCormick, Briana Evigan, Adam Sevani, Sharni Vinson and Alyson Stoner have featured in the series’ other films.

“The ‘Step Up’ franchise is celebrating its 10th anniversary stronger than ever,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chairman Patrick Wachsberger and Motion Picture Group Co-President Erik Feig said in a statement announcing the film.  “We’re proud to partner with Infinity and Yue Hua Entertainment on the next exciting chapter of a dance phenomenon that continues to grow in popularity around the world.  ‘Step Up 3, 4 & 5’ conquered Asian audiences at the box office and, with the incredibly talented filmmaker Ron Yuan, a remarkable cast, spectacular dancing and a story line that combines dance with martial arts, ‘Step Up 6’ is poised to become a major motion picture event for Chinese audiences.”

Dede Nickerson, CEO of Infinity Pictures, added, “We are excited to be a partner in this celebrated franchise and believe ‘Step Up 6’ will wow the Chinese audience,” Infinity Pictures CEO Dede Nickerson said in the statement. “In the ‘Step Up’ tradition, the screenplay, penned by Li Wei, celebrates the underdog and brings characters from different worlds together through dance.”