Chinese Auteur to Tackle Trump Era in Political Thriller 'American Wall'

Wang Quanan Berlin 2017 - Getty - H 2017
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Dubbed "a tale of greed, vengeance, sex and ambition," Wang Quan'an's next film follows an American architect trying to win the contract to design the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The first high-profile political thriller to broach the Trump era could be coming from an unexpected direction — China.

Award-winning Chinese auteur Wang Quan'an has signed to write and direct American Wall, a U.S.-set feature that will delve headlong into the current politically charged moment. Dubbed "a tale of greed, vengeance, sex and ambition," the film is set around President Donald Trump's infamous U.S.-Mexico border wall. It will be Wang's first English-language film. 

Upstart New York-based indie film company Lupi Pictures is producing the project, which is expected to begin filming later this year in New York and Berlin.

According to the plot summary provided by Lupi Pictures so far, the pic will revolve around a protagonist named Harris, "an unscrupulous architect, whose unending drive to secure the mandate to design the infamous U.S.-Mexico wall becomes all-consuming." The story follows Harris as he seduces a "powerful woman with the right connections to secure his bid, only to find himself trapped within his own manipulations." The summary also makes a note of an ominous border-wall technology "sought by the decision makers." 

A familiar name on the international festival circuit, Wang won the Berlin International Film Festival's Golden Bear in 2006 with his third feature, Tuya's Marriage, a drama set in Inner Mongolia about a resilient young woman who must do whatever it takes to sustain her family after her husband becomes paralyzed. He later won the best screenplay prize in Berlin for Apart Together, another stirring drama about a strained relationship and a strong woman torn between obligation and attraction. Earlier this year, Wang served on the Berlin Fest's international competition jury alongside Paul Verhoeven, Diego Luna and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Lupi Pictures' founders Paul Lupi and Susan Mitchell say they have secured a mid-sized budget for America Wall, and that casting is underway for a high-profile U.S. actor to play the film's lead. German actors Burghart Klaussner (Bridge of Spies, Good Bye Lennon!) and Ulrich Matthes (The Notebook) are attached to play supporting roles. The producers are targeting a European festival premiere for the film in 2018.

"Wang's unparalleled cinematic representation of social discourses over the last 20 years is bound to make for a frighteningly relevant and unmissable picture," Lupi Pictures said in a statement.