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Chinese author Mo Yan, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 2012, has sold the film rights to his novella The Treasure Map to producer-director Yu Ren. It is the first time Mo has signed off on a movie adaptation in 10 years.
According to Chinese state news outlet People’s Daily, Yu says that he plans to invest at least $16.3 million (100 million yuan) in Treasure Map.
Yu told People’s Daily that he is in talks with a Hollywood special-effects company and a number of A-list Chinese actors, but didn’t elaborate. He added that he plans to begin shooting by the end of the year.
Treasure Map will be the first of Mo’s works to be adapted since director Huo Jianqi‘s Nuan in 2003. Mo’s first novel to reach the big screen was Red Sorghum, directed by Zhang Yimou, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival that year, launching the Chinese director onto the international stage and to the forefront of his country’s so-called “fifth generation directors.”
Last week Mo attended a press conference in Beijing with director Zheng Xiaolong to announce that he had sold the TV adaptation rights to Red Sorghum to regional satellite network Shandong Satellite TV.
The celebrated author remarked that he has been trying to negotiate a TV adaptation of Red Sorghum since 2008.
“Zhang Yimou’s version of Red Sorghum is so great and influential in the world,” Mo said, according to People’s Daily. “Many TV drama makers don’t want to take a try.
“It’s not easy,” he added. “The TV version has waited for decades to come out. People come and go. Some don’t agree because of money, some did it halfway and gave up.”
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