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Michael Cimino Discovers 'Man's Fate' in Shanghai

4 Sep, 2001 By: Staff Reporter

U.S. director Michael Cimino will return to the director's chair next year to shoot Man's Fate, a drama set in Shanghai against the backdrop of the Chinese revolution.

Based on French author Andre Malraux's 1933 novel La condition humaine (The Human Condition), Man's Fate will depict the deep emotional bonds that develop between several Europeans living in Shanghai during the tragic turmoil that characterized the onset of China's Communist regime, Cimino said.

The roughly $25 million project is to be filmed wholly on location in Shanghai and will benefit from the support of China's government, which has said it will provide some $2 million worth of local labor costs, the film's producer, Mirko Ikonomoff, said.

Ikonomoff is currently in advanced talks to pre-sell Man's Fate to several European groups, including Italy's RAI Cinema and France's TF1, and to a major Japanese company, he added.

Ikonomoff, who heads Los Angeles-based film-financing outfit Victory International, said he is in negotiations with agents for Johnny Depp, Daniel Day-Lewis, John Malkovich, Uma Thurman and French actor Alain Delon as possible stars for the project.

Shooting is tentatively set to begin in Shanghai in June.

Cimino, whose The Deer Hunter (1978) won five Oscars including best picture, subsequently directed the textbook-case flop Heaven's Gate in 1980. His latest film was 1996's The Sunchaser.

Cimino was in Venice, where he made the announcement, to launch his novel Big Jane, published by French house Gallimard, en route to Deauville and then to Paris, where he will receive the prestigious Chevalier des Arts prize from the French government.

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