The Shanghai Film Group has teamed with Mike Medavoy to make a feature film and six-hour miniseries, both set in WWII China. The film will be an adaptation of The Cursed Piano, a novel by Chinese author Bei La. It is a love story set against the backdrop of Japanese-occupied China at a time when Shanghai offered refuge to Europe’s persecuted Jews. The miniseries will be based on Daniella Kuhn’s story Tears of the Sparrow, and that will focus more closely on the Jewish experience in Shanghai. The film and mini will be made in concert and will share story elements and characters. Medavoy and Shanghai Film Group president Ren Zhonglun announced the project at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
Screenwriter Nicholas Meyer (Elegy) is also involved in the project. He and Medavoy worked together on Time After Time. Medavoy was born in Shanghai and lived the first six years of his life there. He produced the Mikael Hafstrom-directed Shanghai with John Cusack, Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat. That long-gestating $50 million film grossed near $10 million foreign, but The Weinstein Company hasn’t yet released it in the US.