Hollywood to Produce Historical Drama on China's Empress

August 31, 2016
Editor: Hewater Liu

Producers of HBO's fantasy drama Game of Thrones will work on a new historical series based on the life of Wu Zetian, the only empress in the history of China, according to a report by Hollywood Reporters.

Christopher Newman, the brain behind Game, has signed a deal with Starlight Media and K. Jam Media to develop and create 13-episode drama Empress. Starlight Media will fully finance the series, estimated at $70 million, and is reported to shop the project from K. Jam Media to broadcast networks after completion.

Production is set to begin in Sichuan province in late 2017, with a premiere scheduled for 2018.

Wu Zetian, China's only empress in history, was ruler of the country during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-906). Wu was known for her wit and intelligence along with her ruthlessness and desire to achieve ultimate power regardless of means. The series will follow her rise to the top through the court of Emperor Taizong as his favorite concubine.

Newman will executively produce the series alongside Starlight Media chairman Xu Yan, CEO Peter Luo and Beely Lee, as well as K. Jam CEO Kia Jam.

"I am very happy to announce this partnership and am looking forward to working with this excellent creative team to bring the story of the Empress Wu to a global audience," Xu said in a statement.

"My partner Chris and I have already started to assemble a world-class team and are thrilled to be in business with our friends at Starlight Media. The story of the empress is a story of intrigue, history and power that provides a deep storytelling well that we hope will have numerous seasons to follow," Jam added.

Starlight Media is a US-based company founded by Xu in 2013. K. Jam Media is an independent film and TV production company based in Los Angeles. Newman, aside from his work in Game of Thrones, has worked on Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace, Notting Hill and Love Actually.

Empress is uncast at the moment.

(Source: China Daily)

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