Li Bingbing — a famous Chinese actress who has starred in international co-productions including The Forbidden Kingdom (2008), Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2011), Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) and Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) — has just put out her first production, Guardians of the Tomb. The film stars Li alongside Kelsey Grammer and Kellan Lutz, and opens in China today.

Guardians of the Tomb Release conference

And this is just the beginning of a big year for Li. Over a year ago, she posted a group picture with Jason Statham on Weibo while they were filming The Meg, a thriller/action film which will come out in August this year:

The Meg group picture

The production team behind Realm (aka Realm of the Tiger), a super-heroine film co-produced by Fundamental Films and Stan Lee Global Entertainment, also announced back in 2015 that Li Bingbing would star in the film, though no further details have been released besides a video clip of Li alongside Stan Lee, the legendary Marvel comic book creator.

Enter The H Collective: a newly-established film finance, production, marketing and distribution company based in Los Angeles. The H Collective released Wolf Warrior 2 in the US last year, and is already taking action to augment their global business by “collaborating with Chinese actors,” according to a recent article on Chinese film site Mtime.com. The H Collective also aims to “help Chinese actors to expand their influence in the world.” To that end, the company has just announced plans to cast Li Bingbing and another Chinese super star, Karry Wang, in three upcoming films.

In Li Bingbing’s latest Weibo post of the trailer for Guardians of the Tomb, she mentioned that she encountered “special circumstances” during the filming. Many of her famous friends commented under her post wishing her the best, including Zhang Ziyi, one of China’s best-known actresses, who has starred in several Hollywood films but now comments that she refuses to be a pretty “vase” in Western films:

“I know the hard times you went through back then. Wish everything goes well, as you want it to be.”

Is this the beginning of a new era for China’s actors and actresses? Let’s see how Guardians of the Tomb performs first.

Cover image: Mtime.com