Chinese shingle Xi’an Qujiang Film TV Investment Co. has signed up helmer Antoine Fuqua to direct a $30.5 million movie about the legendary concubine Yang Guifei, one of the Four Beauties of ancient China.
“The project has been in development for four or five years and we had thought about using a Chinese or a Hong Kong director, but decided to go for a Hollywood director because there are already many versions of Yang Guifei’s story and we wanted to find a new angle,” said a spokeswoman for Xi’an Quijiang Film TV Investment Co.
Work on the script is ongoing and the company will meet with Fuqua later in the year to finalize more details, she said.
There is no English title for the project right now, but the current working title of the pic translates as “Desiring Da Ming Palace,” a reference to the palace in the northern part of Xi’an city, which as the capital of Tang Dynasty (610-907) was the largest palace complex in the world.
The film will tell the tale of consort Yang Guifei and her love affair with the emperor, Xuanzong.
She said Fuqua had a long interest in Chinese culture and both sides clicked when they met.