May 7, 2013 - 17:03 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Wolf Totem will feature Chinese stars Feng Shaofeng and Shawn Dou Xiao in its leading roles, The Hollywood Reporter said.
The announcement from Edko Films, which will be shopping the project at Cannes, confirms speculation of Feng’s involvement in the project, after the Tai Chi 0 and Painted Skin: Resurrection star revealed to the Chinese press two months ago plans to collaborate with a French filmmaker this year.
In an adaptation of an award-winning semi-autobiographical novel by mainland Chinese writer Jiang Rong, Feng is expected to play a student being sent down to work in the Inner Mongolian Steppes during the Cultural Revolution, and whose new way of life is thrown into chaos as an apparatchik orders the killing of all wolves living in the area.
Dou sprung to fame in Zhang Yimou’s 2010 film Under the Hawthorn Tree, in which he plays a land prospector who falls in love with a high-school student arriving to work in a village during the Cultural Revolution.
Annaud first became involved in Wolf Totem in 2009 when he inked a deal with Beijing Forbidden City Pictures’ CEO Zhang Qiang, who has since moved on to become vice-president of China Film Group and is also a backer of the project.
While marking the first time a prominent foreign filmmaker is to helm a Chinese production, Wolf Totem also represents a change of fortunes in the country for Annaud, who was once branded persona non grata by the Chinese authorities for his film Seven Years in Tibet, in which Chinese military officers were pictured as ruthless intruders taking control of the southwestern region in 1950.