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“The Secret Talker” by Geling Yan adapted into a Movie

By 11/05/2018February 19th, 2024No Comments

Renowned Chinese novelist and scriptwriter Geling Yan and Italian director – producer Cristiano Bortone have announced their collaboration on the adaptation of Mrs. Yan’s 2003 novella “The Secret Talker.

Set in Italy at the time of the US invasion of Iraq, the film is a romantic thriller that tells the story of a Chinese woman, married to an American college professor, who thought she had found freedom and peace of mind until suddenly she starts receiving emails from a mysterious stalker. The obsessive relationship begins to unveil dark secrets of her past life in China.

The Secret Talker is to go into production in 2022 with a major Chinese actress as female lead and an American star as male lead.

Geling Yan, a prominent writer from China, is the author of numerous novels, short stories and screenplays. Many of her works have been adapted for film, including: Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl, directed by Joan Chen; Siao Yu, directed by Sylvia Chang and co-written by Ang LeeThe Flowers of War (starring Christian Bale) and Coming Home,
 directed by Zhang Yimou. Ms. Yan also wrote the script for Forever Enthralled, the bio-pic of Mei Lanfang, the Peking opera star, directed by Chinese director Chen Kaige; and the script for Dangerous Liaisons, directed by South Korean director Hur Jin-ho and starring Ziyi ZhangCecilia Cheung and Jang Dong-gun. Her latest novel and script became Feng Xiaogang’s recent movie, the highly successful Youth, which earned more than US$ 200 million at the Chinese box office, with the novel selling nearly one million copies.

“I am very excited to see my novella being adapted for the screen,” said author Geling Yan “For many years I tried to find the right way to represent in a movie the passion and fears hidden in the hearts of my two protagonists. When I got to know Bortone’s work I was touched by his sensitivity and came to think that this would be the right angle to tell this story. I am sure the public will be drawn into this emotional journey.“

“I feel very honoured that Geling Yan has chosen me to direct this movie. I love the profound human sensibility that her stories always have and her ability to depict real people and their feelings. In the case of ‘The Secret Talker’, the novella starts as a thriller but eventually deals with complex themes such as identity, self protection and what we are ready to do for love. For me it will also be a wonderful challenge to bring together two great actors coming from very different worlds”.

The screenplay is being written alongside Bortone by the writer Andrea Cotti, novelist and author of numerous screenplays, including Marpiccolo by Alessandro Di Robilant and Un gioco da ragazze, Matteo Rovere’s debut film.