Netflix is fast becoming a prime destination for fans of Chinese animation.

The streamer has picked up exclusive worldwide streaming rights (outside mainland China) to the fantasy film New Gods: Nezha Reborn. No release date has been announced.

Here are the details of the film:

  • The story is a modern spin on the classical Chinese novel Investiture of the Gods, which inspired the 2019 breakout hit Ne Zha and its follow-up Jiang Ziya. In New Gods, the young god Nezha is reborn as a daredevil delivery courier in a futuristic city.
  • The film was released in Chinese theaters last week during the Lunar New Year holiday — a bumper period for cinemagoing. It has grossed RMB286 million (USD$44.1 million) after six days on release.
  • The animation was produced by Beijing’s Light Chaser Animation. The studio was behind 2019’s White Snake, which was co-produced with Warner Bros. and distributed in the U.S. by Gkids. Its co-director Zhao Ji directed New Gods.
  • Alibaba Pictures, Bona Film Group, and Chinese streaming titan Bilibili co-produced New Gods. The film was presented as a work in progress at last year’s Annecy Festival.
  • Netflix is showing growing interest in Chinese animation. In 2018, it bought the feature Next Gen for a whopping $30 million. Last year, it released Over the Moon, a project developed and co-produced by Shanghai’s Pearl Studio, and the high-profile series Scissor Seven. Last month, it announced the acquisition of U.S.-China co-production Wish Dragon.
  • However, the streaming service remains unavailable in China — the only major market where it doesn’t operate. In October, co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the company wasn’t likely to break into the territory anytime soon. “I think the local government in China would like the Chinese version of Netflix to be Chinese,” he observed.
"New Gods: Nezha Reborn"

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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