The film about the world-renowned pianist will be produced by Howard’s longtime partner Brian Grazer, as well as Imagine Entertainment President of Features Karen Lunder and AGC Studios Stuart Ford.
The screenplay by Michelle Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney, the team behind “Paper Man” and “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” is based on “Journey of a Thousand Miles,” a memoir that Lang Lang wrote with David Ritz.
Lang Lang ranks as one of the greatest classical pianists, beloved for his dramatic playing style. But his rise to the top of the music world came at great personal cost. His childhood was marred by the collapse of his parents’ marriage and his family’s precarious financial situation. After moving to America, Lang Lang attended the Curtis Institute of Music where he was mentored by Gary Graffman, an influential instructor whose other students include Yuja Wang and Haochen Zhang. That set Lang Lang off on a professional odyssey that has included everything from appearances at the Vatican, the Grammys, and the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Howard, who has explored the lives of musicians in his documentaries “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week” and “Pavarotti,” is expected to turn his attention to the Lang Lang film after completing “Thirteen Lives,” a thriller about the Thai Cave Rescue for MGM. Howard’s credits include “Apollo 13” and “A Beautiful Mind,” as well as the upcoming “Hillbilly Elegy.”
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“Lang Lang’s story is one of determination, passion, sacrifice, and finding the inner strength to beat the odds,” said Grazer and Howard in a joint statement. “This film is a bridge between two cultures that share universal truths about the gauntlets we face in the pursuit of greatness.”
Lang Lang and Jean-Jacques Cesbron along with Polygram Entertainment’s Michele Anthony and David Blackman, will serve as executive producers.
“Dream big, work hard and always believe in yourself. This movie, thanks to Ron Howard’s vision, will inspire young people around the world to follow their dreams and never forget they are one in a million,” said Lang Lang in a statement.
CAA Media Finance orchestrated financing for the film and will co-represent worldwide rights with AGC’s international sales arm. The pact was negotiated by Elsa Ramo of Ramo Law for Imagine, and by Ford and Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs Anant Tamirisa for AGC. Howard is represented by CAA and Lang Lang is represented by Cami Music and CAA.