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Annaud to direct ‘Wolf Totem’

French director to make Chinese debut

French helmer Jean-Jacques Annaud’s next film will be an adaptation of Chinese author Jiang Rong’s bestseller “Wolf Totem.”

Annaud and Rong have been scouting for locations in China.

“Wolf Totem” won the Asian equivalent of the Booker Prize in 2007, while Jiang scored one of the highest advances ever paid to a Chinese writer.

Story is a fictional, philosophical account of life in the 1970s in the remote China-Mongolia border region, and the struggle between traditional mores and encroaching modernity.

It is Annaud’s first foray into China. He will make the pic for local shingle Beijing Forbidden City Corp. Gao Jun, CEO of Beijing Forbidden City, said the budget would be disclosed in due course.

The novel is one of China’s biggest sellers, moving more than 2.5 million copies, and it is believed that around 17 million pirated copies are in circulation.

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