Beijing/Los Angeles, July 10, 2012: Seven Stars Film Studios (“SSFS”), a subsidiary of Seven Stars Entertainment Group led by Chairman Bruno Wu, announced today that SSFS will be the lead investor in a China-US co-production of The Last Empress. This epic English-language feature will bring together an Oscar-winning® team including producer Jake Eberts (GANDHI, DRIVING MISS DAISY, DANCES WITH WOLVES), writer Mr. Shen Yuhe (TOWARDS REPUBLIC) with producer Jeremy Thomas (THE LAST EMPEROR) as a consultant.
Developed with Jake Eberts’ Allied Productions East label, a joint venture with SSFS, The Last Empress tells the story of the Empress Dowager Cixi, and the extraordinary period of her life when she consolidated control over the Qing Dynasty and ruled with ruthlessness unheard of from a woman at the time. This was a turbulent period in modern Chinese history, beginning with the overthrow of the Manchu Imperial warlords, through the invasion by the Western powers, and finally to the civil and political reforms which promised a new modern China at the expense of an ancient feudal system. The desperate fate of the characters, set within an ever-changing political landscape, creates a haunting and tense epic storyline.
The Last Empress will be produced by Jake Eberts, who has financed or produced over 50 movies. These films have secured 67 Oscar® nominations; including 9 for Best Picture. Among those were Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, Driving Miss Daisy, and Dances with Wolves. Jeremy Thomas, who produced the Award-winning The Last Emperor, is also on board as advisor for the film. Mr. Shen Yuhe, renowned writer of Towards Republic, which received one of the highest ratings for a drama in Chinese TV history, will write the screenplay.
On making the announcement Bruno Wu said: “This is a perfect project to come from Seven Stars Film Studios. It tells a distinctly Asian story, and by working with creative talent such as Jake, Jeremy and Shen Yuhe we are confident the movie will excite and resonate with audiences across the world.”
The Last Empress is set to begin production by in Q4 2013, with casting due to commence as soon as a director is signed and the screenplay completed.