Movies

Twilight director to film epic romance in China

Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first Twilight film, is set to embark on a romantic epic to be filmed in China. 

The US$50 million (S$67.5 million) film, titled Loulan, will be based on an ancient kingdom of the same name. 

The area is famous for mummies discovered in recent decades. One in particular, nicknamed the Loulan Beauty, is a draw for visitors who are intrigued by how well-preserved she is, and her Caucasian-like features. 

Hardwicke, 59, said the film's storyline would revolve around a princess who could be the Loulan Beauty's "great-great-granddaughter", reported the South China Morning Post. It would be set in 200 BC, and will likely star an American or English actress, she added. 

The film, she said, is planned to be the first in a trilogy about the kingdom, which was fought over by Han Chinese and the Huns. 

"We have the princess who is in a kind of neutral kingdom at the nexus to the Silk Road, Loulan, and she's trying to keep peace and stay neutral, try to stay like Switzerland between the Huns to the north and the Han dynasty to the east," Hardwicke said, adding that the princess would be caught between "young charismatic hot men diplomats to try to win her heart and her loyalty".

"I loved the idea of this mix of cultures and these young kids that are in love and that are struggling with very heavy issues of war and peace," added Hardwicke. 

The movie is targeted for release late 2017 or early 2018. 

Filming is expected to begin next year in Xinjiang and Beijing. 

Souces: South China Morning Post, ABC News

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