David Henry Hwang to Write Animated Film 'Tiger Empress' for Pearl Studio

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

The Shanghai-based animation house has also promoted Justinian Huang to head of development.

David Henry Hwang, the Tony Award-winning playwright of M. Butterfly, has been tapped to write the screenplay for the animated film Tiger Empress for Pearl Studio, the Shanghai-based animation studio. The film will tell the story of a young tigress who grows from the obedient daughter of a tiger mom into a leader who must save their kingdom.

The film is based on an original idea developed by Justinian Huang, who has just been promoted to head of development for Pearl Studio, it was announced today by chief creative officer Peilin Chou.

Huang joined Pearl, formerly known as Oriental DreamWorks, in 2015 as a creative executive and was promoted to director of development before being named head of development. He was part of the team that developed Pearl's upcoming Abominable, directed by Jill Culton, and Over the Moon, directed by Academy Award-winning animator Glen Keane. Both films will be featured next week during Pearl's session at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France.

Huang will oversee Pearl's previously announced projects: Untitled Chinatown Project, a comedy action movie with supernatural elements, conceived and executive produced by Emmy-winner Alan Yang and has just brought on Kelvin Yu and Steven Davis as writers; The Monkey King, an adventure featuring the Chinese superhero, written by Ron Friedman and Steve Bencich; Illumikitty, a comedy about a feline plot for world domination; and Lucky, an animated buddy comedy being written by Rita Hsiao.

Prior to joining Pearl Studio, Huang was a development executive at Lynda Obst Productions, where he assisted with early development for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar as well as Ricky Gervais' The Invention of Lying. He also worked in development for Bob Cooper at Landscape Entertainment, as well as for Gary Ross at Larger Than Life Productions.

"Justinian is a passionate champion of great storytelling, and over the past few years, he has brought so much to Pearl in terms of his understanding of bridging Eastern and Western cultures, as well as his unique ideas, insights and industry relationships," Chou said in the announcement. "Justinian is truly dedicated to and energized by Pearl's mission to create original world-class films that enchant and inspire audiences around the globe, and I could not be more excited to continue collaborating with him in his new role at Pearl."