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China hopes to score a slam dunk with 3-D NBA film 'Amazing'

'Amazing,' a 3-D sci-fi basketball movie, features Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Scottie Pippen in supporting roles and will probably get its full rollout in China in mid-October.

June 26, 2013|By Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times

SHANGHAI — Basketball-crazed countries around the world tuned in to see the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs in a tense Game 7 of the NBA Finals last week. Now, league officials are hoping audiences in China, its largest international market, will soon be enthralled by a different kind of hoops drama: a 3-D sci-fi basketball movie featuring some of the NBA's top names.

The $10-million film, "Amazing," features New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Lakers center Dwight Howard and former Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen in supporting roles and had its world premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival last week. The film, which includes dialogue in Mandarin and English, was four years in the making and is the first such NBA effort outside of the U.S.

Helmed by U.S.-educated Chinese director Sherwood Hu, "Amazing" probably will get its full rollout in China in mid-October, timed to coincide with China's National Day holiday and the NBA Global Games, which will feature the Lakers making their first appearance in the Middle Kingdom (they'll face off against the Golden State Warriors twice: once in Beijing and again in Shanghai).

FULL COVERAGE: Reel China

Whether U.S. audiences will ever see "Amazing" in theaters, though, remains unclear. Though outgoing NBA Commissioner David Stern gave his blessing to the production — Hu says Stern even came up with its title — NBA officials have yet to make plans for a stateside release.

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