Two-time Oscar-winner Howard will direct the currently untitled film with Oscar-winner Brian Grazer producing alongside Imagine’s President of Features Karen Lunder, and AGC Studios’ Stuart Ford.
The project plans to shoot in China and the U.S. and will feature both Mandarin and English. It is intended to be Howard’s next film after he finishes the upcoming Thirteen Lives for MGM.
Born in China to aspiring musicians, Lang Lang (who is only 38 years old) has emerged as one of the world’s most famous contemporary classical pianists. His memoir documents the remarkable story of a family who sacrificed almost everything for the belief in his prodigious talent.
The film will chart the story from Lang’s childhood in the provincial city of Shenyang in Northern China to the influential Beijing Central Conservatory of Music and his improbable journey to America where he rose to become a globally acclaimed musician who has played for audiences around the world including at the Vatican, the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, and multiple appearances at the Grammy awards.
The screenplay by Michelle Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney is based on the memoir Journey of a Thousand Miles by Lang and David Ritz. Lang, Jean-Jacques Cesbron, and Polygram Entertainment’s Michele Anthony and David Blackman, will serve as executive producers.
CAA Media Finance arranged financing for the film and will co-represent worldwide rights with AGC International.
“Lang Lang’s story is one of determination, passion, sacrifice, and finding the inner strength to beat the odds. This film is a bridge between two cultures that share universal truths about the gauntlets we face in the pursuit of greatness,” said Grazer and Howard jointly. “Kieran and Michele are the ideal storytellers to help bring this story to audiences around the world.”
“Dream big, work hard and always believe in yourself. This movie, thanks to Ron Howard’s vision, will inspire young people around the world to follow their dreams and never forget they are one in a million,” added Lang Lang.
The deal was negotiated by Elsa Ramo of Ramo Law for Imagine, and by Ford and VP of Business and Legal Affairs Anant Tamirisa for AGC. Howard is represented by CAA and Lang Lang is represented by Cami Music and CAA.