×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cristiano Bortone to Direct Yan Geling’s ‘The Secret Talker’ (EXCLUSIVE)

China’s foremost screenwriter, Yan Geling, has teamed with Italian director and producer Cristiano Bortone to adapt Yan’s novella “The Secret Talker.”

Set during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the film is a romantic thriller centering on a Chinese woman, married to an American college professor, who thought she had found freedom and peace of mind until she suddenly starts receiving emails from a mysterious stalker. The obsessive relationship begins to reveal dark secrets of her past life in China.

“The Secret Talker” is expected to go into production in 2019 with a major Chinese actress as female lead and an American star as male lead.

Yan, who is both an author and screenwriter, was recently responsible for the novel “Youth,” a bittersweet, nostalgic tale of a military entertainment troupe. The book sold close to 1 million copies, and director Feng Xiaogang’s film adaptation was the biggest hit of the Christmas period, earning more than $200 million at the box office.

She previously wrote screenplays for the Chinese version of “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Forever Enthralled,” a biopic of Peking opera star Mei Lanfang, directed by Chen Kaige. Yan’s novels have included “Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl,” directed as a film by Joan Chen; “Siao Yu,” directed by Sylvia Chang and co-written by Ang Lee; and Christian Bale-starring “The Flowers of War” and “Coming Home,” both of which were directed by Zhang Yimou.

Bortone recently directed “Caffe,” the first film to make use of the Italy-China bilateral co-production treaty. Both Bortone and Yan are based in Berlin.

“For many years I tried to find the right way to represent in a movie the passion and fears hidden in the hearts of my two protagonists. I was touched by [Bortone’s] sensitivity and came to think that this would be the right angle to tell this story,” said Yan.

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content