Posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2016 by Angie Han
At a time when the Chinese box office is powerful enough to prop up even films that do terribly at home (see: Warcraft), studios have gone to all sorts of lengths to attract that audience. In the case of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it definitely helps that they’ve cast two of the country’s biggest stars, Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen, in key roles. Naturally, then, those two are getting a lot of attention in the run-up to the film’s release in China.
Yen and Jiang, who play Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus in the movie, get a good chunk of screentime in the new Rogue One Chinese trailer, which also announces the film’s Chinese release date. The Force Awakens faced an uphill climb in the country earlier this year, but with these guys on board, maybe Rogue One will have better luck. Watch the Rogue One Chinese trailer below.
Rogue One Chinese Trailer
Here’s the Chinese trailer. You may have seen a version of this trailer already in Rogue One Bits, but we thought it worth breaking out for those who might have missed it the first time.
The previously released version shows all the same footage but is preceded by some adorable banter between Yen and Jiang.
Not surprisingly, Yen and Jiang also get prominent placement in the Rogue One Chinese poster.
While much of the world is mad for Star Wars, the franchise doesn’t really have the same history in China (or some other non-Western markets) that it does here. The original trilogy never got a wide release there, and the prequels opened long before China was the box office juggernaut it is today. This proved to be a big drawback when it came time for Disney to open The Force Awakens, which in the U.S. (and other Star Wars-obsessed countries) relied heavily on nostalgia to get butts in seats. Ultimately, The Force Awakens took in about $125 million in China — good, but not great.
Jiang and Wen surely weren’t hired just to draw in more Chinese viewers, but they just as surely don’t hurt. Casting Chinese talent to attract Chinese viewers isn’t really a new tactic, but Rogue One seems to be playing it better than most. Especially since it looks like Jiang and Wen are actually an integral part of the cast — unlike, say, Angelababy’s disposable role in Independence Day: Resurgence. If Star Wars nostalgia won’t work on Chinese audiences, maybe sheer star power will. Rogue One will open January 6, 2017 in China, around the same time that The Force Awakens landed earlier this year.
The pair is part of an impressively international cast that also includes stars from the U.K. (Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed), Mexico (Diego Luna), Australia (Ben Mendelsohn), Denmark (Mads Mikkelsen), and the U.S. (Forest Whitaker and Alan Tudyk). British person Gareth Edwards directs. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16 in the U.S.Cool Posts From Around the Web: