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Lulu Wang is following up The Farewell with the Amazon original series The Expatriates.
The filmmaker behind the summer box office breakout has joined the drama as a writer and executive producer. She also will direct multiple episodes of the Hong Kong-set series. The Expatriates will see Wang teaming with exec producer Nicole Kidman, who brought the project based on Janice Y.K. Lee’s 2016 novel of the same name to the streamer earlier this year.
“When I first read Janice Lee’s diasporic novel, I was immediately drawn to the rich characters and the global yet intimate exploration of life in modern Hong Kong,” Wang said Thursday in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be working with Nicole Kidman and Amazon, whose commitment to bold, nuanced storytelling make them the perfect partners to translate this atmospheric story to screen.”
The Expatriates, which already has a straight-to-series order at Amazon, follows a group of close-knit expatriates living in Hong Kong.
The project marks Wang’s first foray into television. The Beijing-born filmmaker, who moved to the U.S. at the age of 6, has written and directed two feature-length films, Posthumous (2014) and this year’s The Farewell. Wang adapted the latter project from her 2016 This American Life story about her family’s decision to hide a terminal cancer diagnosis from her grandmother. The A24 film, which stars Awkwafina and Zhao Shuzhen, earned $19.6 million following worldwide its July 12 release and has received critical and awards season buzz, including two Golden Globe nominations.
Wang also is set to helm the sci-fi feature Children of the New World, based on the collection of short stories from Alexander Weinstein.
The Expatriates marks the first project to result from Kidman’s first-look deal with Amazon. She and producing partner Per Saari will executive produce via their Blossom Films. POW Productions’ Theresa Park is also set to exec produce, while Lee will serve as a consulting producer. Alice Bell will also serve as a writer and exec producer.
“Lulu is a tremendously gifted writer and director. Like so many others, I was deeply moved by her work on The Farewell, and I’m thrilled she’s going to help us bring The Expatriates to life onscreen,” said Kidman.
Added Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, “We are so proud to have a visionary filmmaker in Lulu Wang take the helm of our new global series, The Expatriates. We know her fantastic eye for authenticity and deep character development skills will bring the complicated, challenging and fascinating women of this story to life.”
Wang teased her collaboration with Kidman on The Expatriates in a tweet on Wednesday evening, declining the name the project or studio but noting “we could not be more excited.”
New partners in crime who got tired of waiting for the official announcement and decided to drop this here because we could not be more excited! (Wine may have been involved, so studio-that shall-not-be-named-yet please don’t sue us.) pic.twitter.com/9NCxcznUDn
— Lulu Wang (@thumbelulu) December 12, 2019
Wang is repped by UTA and Circle of Confusion.
Dec. 12, 4:55 p.m. Updated with the description of the project.
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