Film and TV

Carmelo Anthony lights up China: "The MoCap is for a movie I'm filming. This s**t is crazy"

You may be wondering whether or not Carmelo Anthony is going to sign a contract extension with the Nuggets, or if Melo's as good as gone from Denver. But he's got other things on his mind -- specifically, a movie he's making (and tweeting about) in China.

The flick is called Amazing, and Anthony's co-star is Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic -- one of many teams he's rumored to be considering jumping to.

On Monday, Melo teased his Twitter fans with this note: "Off to Shanghai, China. This is goin to be one long ass flight." He followed up with a reference to "my last airbender s*@t" and this photo of him in a motion-capture suit:

He subsequently explained: "The MoCap is for a movie I'm filming. This shit is crazy."

It's also potentially big business, in that it represents a new partnership between Shanghai Film Group and the NBA, which is itching to make broader inroads into the potentially ultra-lucrative Chinese market. The Amazing press release has more details -- and its headline gives Howard top billing over Melo:

Dwight Howard to Star in Film "Amazing"

NEW YORK and SHANGHAI -- Shanghai Film Group (SFG) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced a partnership to produce the first NBA-themed motion picture outside of North America.

The film, titled "Amazing," features NBA stars, including Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, along with top actors from Asia and an award-winning Chinese director. Filming began on Aug. 17, and will continue in Beijing, Shanghai and New York through November. The movie is scheduled to premiere in the summer of 2011.

"Amazing," a basketball-themed movie about young people achieving their dreams through hard work, follows a long list of NBA-inspired movies made in the U.S., including "He Got Game" (1998), with Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington; "Eddie" (1996), with Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg (1992); "Space Jam" (1996), with six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan; and "Forget Paris" (1996) with Billy Crystal.

SFG becomes the first Official Movie Partner of the NBA in China and this marks the first time it has partnered with a U.S. sports league. This multiyear partnership will expand the NBA's significant global reach and popularity in China and further cement SFG's status as one of the largest film production companies in China and the world. SFG owns 640 feature films and is the largest cinema chain in China.

The film will feature a cast that includes Huang Xiaoming, one of the top movie and television actors in China; Kim A Joong, a well-known South Korean actress and the most featured model in advertisements in Asia; and Eric Mabius, an American actor best known for his role in "Ugly Betty."

"Amazing" is directed by Hu Xuehua, winner of the Kennedy Center Honors, an award given out on by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, for his work in "The Legend of Lan Ling." Xuehua earned his masters degree and Ph.D in directing in the U.S. and later studied at New York's Public Theater.

The NBA will return to play its fifth set of preseason games in China when the Houston Rockets and the New Jersey Nets play in Beijing and Guangzhou this October as part of NBA China Games 2010.

About Shanghai Film Group(SFG)

The Shanghai Film Group (SFG) is a subsidiary of Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group (SMEG) and the largest movie company in China.

With over 60 years experience, SFG primarily engages in the production, distribution and screening of feature films, animated movies and cartoons, as well as TV commercials and documentaries. Currently SFG owns over 640 feature films; 30,000 minutes of animated films; 1555 documentaries and approximately 10,000 episodes from various TV series

About NBA China:

The NBA's entity that conducts all of the league's businesses in greater China was formed in January 2008. The NBA has interacted with Chinese basketball for decades, including first hosting the Chinese National team in 1985. The NBA currently has relationships with 51 television and digital media outlets in China, including a partnership for 23 years with national broadcaster CCTV. The league hosts hundreds of touring basketball events for fans, conducts community enrichment programs and maintains marketing partnerships with a combination of world-class Chinese based corporations and U.S.-based multinationals.

The NBA opened its Hong Kong office in 1992 and currently employs close to 150 people in four offices in Greater China. has become the most popular sports website in China, 300 million people play basketball in the country and NBA products are available in 30,000 retail locations. The NBA became the first American sports league to play games in China with the NBA China Games in 2004 and returned in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts