Chinese helmer Lu Chuan is attached to direct and produce River Town, the Tristine Skyler adaptation of the memoir River Town: Two Years On The Yangtze, by bestselling author and New Yorker staff writer Peter Hessler. Jamie Gordon and Courtney Potts of Fugitive Films are producing.
The memoir depicts a celebrated American writer’s journey to China for the long-awaited Chinese publication of his first book, triggering memories from 20 years earlier when he taught English literature to Chinese college students while on the brink of a nation’s unprecedented change.
Lu’s film credits include The Missing Gun, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, City Of Life And Death and The Last Supper. He last helmed Chronicles Of The Ghostly Tribe, which grossed $106 million in mainland China within its first weeks of release. He is in postproduction on Born In China for Disneynature, which will be released this summer in China and April 2017 in the U.S. He is repped by CAA and Myman Greenspan.
In addition to being a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker, Hessler was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011. His other books include Oracle Bones, Country Driving and Strange Stones. He’s repped by William Clark.
Skyler is currently writing Madame Rose for HBO Films, and she recently co-wrote an adaptation of Truman Capote’s Summer Crossing with Scarlett Johansson. She is repped by CAA and lawyer James Adams.
Development financing was provided by Dragon Summit Culture in association with IBP and Crystal City Entertainment, with Zhao Jin, Cleo Lee and Jonathan Rubenstein co-executive producers on the project.