Todd Strauss-Schulson to Direct Channing Tatum’s ‘Zombie Brother’ at STXfilms

Live-action film based on Chinese comic books and animated series is co-production of Tencent Pictures

Todd Strauss-Schulson Channing Tatum
Jill Greenberg/Getty Images

Todd Strauss-Schulson, the director of “Isn’t It Romantic” and “Final Girls,” is in negotiations to direct “Zombie Brother” at STXfilms and Tencent Pictures, STXfilms chairman of the motion picture group Adam Fogelson and Edward Cheng of Tencent announced Monday.

Channing Tatum is producing the live-action film adaptation of “Zombie Brother,” which is based on a series of digital comics and anime shorts from Tencent. The plot for the film is still under wraps, but the Chinese comic series involves a young man trying to escape from a city with his girlfriend after a virus outbreak. Alex Rubens wrote the screenplay with contributions by Ryan Engle.

Since 2011, the digital comic book has earned more than 24 billion views over 241 episodes, and its animated series has attracted more than 3.7 billion views across its first two seasons. The franchise has also been adapted into a stage play, which had a record-breaking run of sold-out shows across the region.

“Zombie Brother” will be co-produced by Tencent Pictures, STXfilms and Tatum, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan’s Free Association. STXfilms will also distribute the film in North America, while Tencent Pictures will distribute in China. Tatum, Carolin, Kiernan and Michael Parets are producing for Free Association. Edward Cheng and Howard Chen are the executive producers, with Conor Zorn serving as producer for Tencent Pictures. Sam Brown is overseeing the film for the studio along with Drew Simon.

“Todd is the perfect choice for ‘Zombie Brother.’ His films thrive with a heart, energy, comic pace and visual inventiveness all their own,” Fogelson said in a statement.

Tatum’s take of “Zombie Brother” dates back to 2017 when Free Association joined Tencent on the project. STX came aboard to co-produce the film in May 2018.

“Strauss-Schulson” last directed Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth in the send-up of the romantic comedy genre film “Isn’t It Romantic,” which made $48.7 million at the domestic box office following its release in February this year. He’s also directed “A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas” and the horror comedy “Final Girls.”

Strauss-Schulson is represented by William Morris Entertainment and 3 Arts Entertainment. Free Association is represented by CAA and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.