Wayne Wang sets sights on Singapore

'Joy Luck Club' director says city-state is ready for more

SINGAPORE -- Chinese-American director Wayne Wang is talking to Singapore financiers, directors and film industry authorities about making movies in the Southeast Asian city-state.

Lauded both for his art house efforts such as "Smoke" and for his mainstream movies such as "Maid in Manhattan" and "The Joy Luck Club," Wang spoke to The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday on the eve of an Oct. 9-15 retrospective of his work at Singapore's Golden Village cinemas.

Wang's two most recent films, "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers" and "The Princess of Nebraska," will open here on Oct. 16.

For a long time, Singapore was not on Wang's filmmaking radar because he long thought that films and television produced here were "rather boring."

"They were always very middle of the road. But lately I have seen more interesting things coming out of Singapore," he said.

Now, Wang, who was born in Hong Kong, says he has several scripts that could "easily be adapted to Singapore" and be ready by spring.

"I don't think anyone has really made a contemporary film about Singapore, so I'm very intrigued," said Wang, adding that the films' budgets could range from $1 million or less up to $10 million to $15 million for a mainstream movie with star casting.

Wang's latest project is based on Chinese novelist and filmmaker Guo Xiaolu's book, "A Concise Chinese English Dictionary for Lovers," about a young woman from China who goes to school in England and falls in love with an Englishman in his 40s.

"I'm interested in Zhang Ziyi and Jude Law for it. They would be a great couple," Wang said.

Wang also said he is exploring working with five or six young filmmakers in Singapore on lower budget films "that not only have the Singapore character but will also be accessible to the outside market."

"It's not just about me making a film here, but the idea of working with some of the really talented, interesting filmmakers I've met here," he said. "Eric (Khoo) and Royston (Tan) have done some, but there are more to be made. Singapore is ready."
comments powered by Disqus