A24 optioned the collection in 2017 and will produce the pic. Zhang and Yan will co-write the script.
The movie unfolds from the perspective of a girl growing up in the outer boroughs of New York in the ’90s. With parents newly arrived from Shanghai, the family works through the unique trials of ascending to the middle class. A coming-of-age tale told with insight and humor, the story offers a sweeping perspective on the humility and heartache of the immigrant experience, as told from the point of view of children and parents.
A24 will also finance and distribute the film. The collection was celebrated on best-of-the-year lists by the New Yorker, NPR, Oprah Magazine, the Guardian, Esquire, New York Magazine and BuzzFeed.
Yan beat out a number of directors for the Harley Quinn spinoff. That pic finds Margot Robbie reprising her role as the super-villain and is expected to bow next February. She had previously directed the Sundance World Dramatic Competition movie “Dead Pigs,” which premiered at the 2018 festival.
In addition to being an acclaimed poet and essayist, Zhang is also a writer on the upcoming untitled DuPlass HBO series.
Yan is represented by CAA and attorney Jerry Dasti, and Zhang is represented by Nora May and Jermaine Johnson at 3 Arts Entertainment.