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Berlinale: Wang Quan’an, Mario Adorf Ride Together on ‘Karl Marx: Last Journey’

Wang Quan’an, the Chinese director who won Berlin’s Golden Bear in 2006 with “Tuya’s Marriage,” is making plans to shoot “Karl Marx: The Last Journey.” The film is expected to be large-budget European picture.

Based on a treatment by veteran German actor Mario Adorf, the adventure-drama is based on real events in the 1870s when Karl Marx, philosopher, economist and author, was urged by his friend Friedrich Engels to leave London on health grounds and finish his follow-up to “Das Kapital” in warmer climes. The resulting journey to and from Algiers, by way of Monaco and Paris, saw the aging economist tracked by spies and play off different governments, which had only recently been at war.

With Adorf set to play the role of Marx, financing and production details of the $27 million-$32 million  co-production are currently being pulled together. The pair say they are in advanced negotiations to bring on board one of Germany’s largest entertainment concerns, but could not yet reveal the name yet.

Their objective is to get the film into production relatively swiftly for delivery of the completed picture by 2018. The date would be the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth.

Adorf says he pitched the project to Wang after watching Wang’s “Apart Together,” which opened the Berlinale in 2010. “What impressed me so much about that film was its humanity,” said Adorf. “Although it was talking about events I knew little about, it made me realize how much alike we all are.”

“The story still has great contemporary relevance,” Wang said. “And beside the smog of London in the 19th century has parallels with Beijing today.”

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