Fox Searchlight has just sent out a press release announcing that they have acquired the North American rights to distribute Wayne Wang’s adaptation of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Based on the bestselling novel by Lisa Lee, Snow Flower is about two parallel stories, one involving two seven-year-old girls in 19th-century China and another involving their descendants in present day Shanghai. Both stories are about two women trying overcoming various obstacles in order to maintain their friendship.
The film certainly seems to be in Wang’s wheelhouse seeing as he also directed an adaptation of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, which has cultural and thematic similarities. Hit the jump for the full press release.
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
ACQUIRES “SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN”
Specialty Arm Acquires North American Rights
LOS ANGELES, CA May 13, 2010 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired North American rights from IDG China Media to the sweeping yet intimate drama based on the bestselling novel by Lisa See, SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN. Directed by Wayne Wang, written by Ron Bass, Angela Workman, and Michael Ray, the film stars Gianna Jun and Li Bing Bing. The adaptation of SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN is being produced by Wendi Murdoch and Florence Sloan, and executive produced by Hugo Shong.
“Wayne Wang has an incredible vision for creating beautifully moving films – there is a universal truth in his portrayals of women’s stories,” said Gilula and Utley. “We are thrilled to be distributing this touching film about the unequivocal bond and devotion between friends.”
“I love the book, which is set in period China. I love even more the final script which combines a resonant story in contemporary Shanghai,” said Wang.
“Guided by Wayne Wang’s sensibilities and starring an incredibly talented international cast, we know this deeply moving story of love and devotion is in the best possible hands at Fox Searchlight,” said producers Murdoch and Sloan.
Inspired by the bestselling novel SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN by Lisa See, the film is a timeless portrait of female friendship.
In 19th-century China, seven year old girls Snow Flower and Lily are matched as laotong – or “old sames” – bound together for eternity. Isolated by their families, they furtively communicate by taking turns writing in a secret language, nu shu, between the folds of a white silk fan.
In a parallel story in present day Shanghai, the laotong’s descendants, Nina and Sophia, struggle to maintain the intimacy of their own childhood friendship in the face of demanding careers, complicated love lives, and a relentlessly evolving Shanghai. Drawing on the lessons of the past, the two modern women must understand the story of their ancestral connection, hidden from them in the folds of the antique white silk fan, or risk losing one another forever.
What unfolds are two stories, generations apart, but everlasting in their universal notion of love, hope and friendship.
The deal was brokered on Fox Searchlight’s side by Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien with IDG China Media’s Executive Vice President of Production Ted Perkins and Stephen L. Saltzman of Loeb & Loeb. Kathy Morgan of KMI International is handling international sales.
Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.