From the Hollywood Reporter:
Sony Classics picks up ‘Huang Shi’
By Gregg Goldstein
Feb 20, 2007
NEW YORK — Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all North American rights to “The Children of Huang Shi,” a fact-based war drama filmed in China starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Radha Mitchell, Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh.
Roger Spottiswoode’s feature, which wrapped three months of shooting Friday in Shanghai, tells the story of a British reporter (Rhys Meyers) in China during the country’s invasion by Japan in 1937. He rescues 60 war orphans by leading them on a thousand-mile journey to a village near the end of China’s Great Wall with the help of a local political leader (Chow), an aristocrat (Yeoh) and the nurse he falls in love with (Mitchell).
“Children” was written by James MacManus and Jane Hawksley. The film is tentatively set for release in the fourth quarter.
Arthur Cohn and Wieland Schulz-Keil produced the film with Peter Loehr of Beijing’s Ming Prods., Jonathan Shteinman of Sydney’s Bluewater Pictures and Martin Hagemann of Berlin’s Zero Fiction. The film was co-produced by Chinese production/distribution outfit Qixinran. Ashok Amritraj of Hyde Park International is handling foreign sales.
If you want to find out about the real life story that is the inspiration for “The Children of Huang Shi”, The Times has an article about George Hogg’s life. Warning: This article does contain possible spoilers.
And in related news, Jonathan has been quoted in a couple of articles about the growing number of film productions in Hengdian, a small village in Southeastern China. It’s quickly becoming known as “Chinawood”, with more than 5,000 pictures shot there in ten years. What does Jonny have to say?
Filming of “The Children of Huang Shi”, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, “was very positive and the surrounding scenery breath-taking” the actor stated at a February 16th press conference, he chuckled “even if after a while I could think of a few restaurants where I would have liked ordering from.” Culinary limitations aside, it seems that this small village under the leadership of a true visionary will reach its Chinawood status in no time at all.
From CTV (where you can also view footage of Jonathan filming and being interviewed):
“Hengdian is like coming to Fox in America,” Rhys-Meyers said. “This is where the Chinese come to make their beautiful movies.”