Kyle McLachlan (Blue Velvet, Desperate Housewives, Twin Peaks and Sex and the City), Bruce Greenwood (The Sweet Hereafter, Double Jeopardy, Thirteen Days, I, Robot) and Joan Chen (Home Song Stories, The Last Emperor) have been confirmed to play leading roles in Bruce Beresford’s adaptation of the best-selling book, Mao’s Last Dancer which begins filming in China next month.
Jack Thompson (The Assassination of Richard Nixon, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), Aden Young (Paradise Road, Cousin Bette), Amanda Schull (Centre Stage) and Shungbao Wang (Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Blind Shaft) have also joined the multinational cast.
Mao’s Last Dancer is the inspirational true story of Li Cunxin, adapted from his autobiography and telling how, towards the end of the Cultural Revolution, he was chosen to leave his peasant family and sent on an amazing journey … as it turned out towards freedom and personal triumph.
This poignant yet triumphant story is to be directed by twice Academy nominated director Bruce Beresford (Breaker Morant, Driving Miss Daisy, Black Robe) from a stunning adaptation by screenwriter Jan Sardi (Shine, The Notebook, Love’s Brother) with producer Jane Scott (Shine, Head On, Crocodile Dundee) and China co-producer Geng Ling (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower).
Several internationally renowned dancers have also been cast in Mao’s Last Dancer including Madeleine Eastoe (current Australian Ballet Principal Artist), Camilla Vergotis (former Australian Ballet Principal Artist, current Hong Kong Ballet Soloist) and Steven Heathcote (former Australian Ballet Principal Artist).
Graeme Murphy, founder of the Sydney Dance Company, is choreographer.
Paris-based Celluloid Dreams is the international sales agent for the film and domestic distributors are Hopscotch and Roadshow.
Filming begins mid-March in China, before moving to the USA and Australia.