Shanghai-based Fundamental Films is developing “Dragon Lady” about Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star.
Producers have approached Chinese actress-singer Fan Bingbing for the lead role. Jonathan Keasey and Brant Boivin are writing the script.
Wong rose to fame with her role in 1924’s “Thief of Bagdad” with Douglas Fairbanks, but her career was plagued by offers to play negative stereotypes of Chinese females and was limited by American anti-miscegenation laws that prevented her from sharing an on-screen kiss with a person of another race. She appeared in “Daughter of the Dragon,” “Daughter of Shanghai,” and, with Marlene Dietrich, in Josef von Sternberg’s “Shanghai Express.”
Wong grew up in a poor neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is depicted in the the Four Ladies of Hollywood statues at La Brea and Sunset along with Dolores del Río, Dorothy Dandridge and Mae West.
Fundamental will be producing and financing the project and will distribute in China. Gary Glushon is overseeing for the company.
Fundamental Films is now teamed with Mark Johnson on period spy thriller “China Black Chamber,” which was announced last year as the first film in its slate of English-language themed movies with a combination of top Chinese and U.S. talent. It has also partnered with Luc Besson’s Europa Corp on a number of projects, including the reboot of the “Transporter” series.
Keasey and Boivin recently wrote “My Wife Hates Your Wife” for Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment. They are repped by CAA and Trevor Astbury.