Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock’s Montecito Pictures has acquired the film rights to journalist Alan Paul’s new memoir Big in China: My Unlikely Adventure Raising a Family, Playing the Blues and Reinventing Myself in Beijing.
Big in China is being developed with an eye for Reitman to direct. Project is out to writers.
Paul’s memoir, published by HarperCollins, hit bookstands on March 1. The book recounts his time in Beijing, where he relocated from suburban New Jersey with his family when his wife, Rebecca Blumenstein, was named The Wall Street Journal’s China bureau chief.
Becoming a stay-at-home dad, Paul spent hours exploring the city while his three young children were in school. One day, he wandered into a guitar shop to see if someone might be able to fix his guitar, which had been damaged en route to China.
He struck up a conversation with Woodie Wu, a young guitarist and owner of the shop. Paul’s own musical talents had been long dormant, but together, he and Wu forming a blues quintet with two other Chinese musicians and an American (the U.S. Treasury representative to China).
Woodie Alan, the name of their band, took the Beijing club scene by storm and became a national touring sensation.
Big in China is both an account of one man’s personal transformation, and a portrait of a complex nation—still not understood by most Westerners—as it modernizes. Paul first began chronicling his adventures in The Expat Life, the award-winning Wall Street Journal online column. His memoir expands on his experiences.
Ali Bell, an executive at Montecito, will exec produce Big in China. She recently produced Paramount and Montecito’s Natalie Portman-Ashton Kutcher romantic comedy No Strings Attached, directed by Reitman.
Deal for the film rights to Big in China was brokered by UTA and the law firm of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman.