Catherine Hardwicke, the director whom vampire-crazed tweens across the world have to thank for bringing the Twilight series to the big screen, recently announced that she’s set to film yet another epic romance saga―this time in western China.
Her new film, Loulan, will be based on an ancient kingdom of the same name which mysteriously vanished hundreds of years ago. The “Loulan Beauty”, a mummy that was unearthed near a desert in Xinjiang, is often associated with the kingdom. The mummy was discovered in 1980 and is famous for being so well preserved that traces of her beauty can still be seen, thousands of years after her death. Archeologists believe that she died on the trade route Silk Road around 3,800 years ago.
The story itself will revolve around the Loulan Beauty’s great-great granddaughter. Because the mummy was found to be of Caucasian descent, Loulan will most likely be played by an American or English actress.
The US$50 million production will be the first movie in the trilogy, which will show the city of Loulan being fought over by the Han Chinese and the nomadic Huns. The script, however, is still being written.
“We have the princess who is in a kind of neutral kingdom at the nexus to the Silk Road, Loulan,” said Hardwicke in a UT San Diego report. “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,”
And of course, what’s an epic love story without some hunky guys to distract from the historical inaccuracy of it all. Hardwicke says the Hans and Huns will each send “young charismatic hot men diplomats to try to win her heart and her loyalty”. It’s unclear whether white actors will also be cast to play the Chinese characters, seeing as that’s kind of a thing in Hollywood.
As to why Hardwicke was chosen to direct this film, she believes it’s probably got something to do with her highly-successful vampire films. “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,” she said.
The film is set to start filming in August 2016 and will be released in late 2017 or early 2018.
[Image via Mtime]
By Sharon Choi