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Mogul Wives Murdoch and Sloan Produce Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood July 6, 2011 at 10:14AM

Don't call Wendi Murdoch and Florence Sloan trophy wives. The women, who are married to media mogul Rupert Murdoch and ex-MGM CEO Harry Sloan, respectively, tell Harper's Bazaar about their new roles as Hollywood producers for their first film, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Don't call Wendi Murdoch and Florence Sloan trophy wives. The women, who are married to media mogul Rupert Murdoch and ex-MGM CEO Harry Sloan, respectively, tell Harper's Bazaar about their new roles as Hollywood producers for their first film, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

The Wayne Wang movie, adapted from Lisa See’s elegant and stirring 2005 novel about a lifetime female friendship in 19th century China, stars the Murdoch's Australian chum Hugh Jackman and ingenues Li Bing Bing and Gianna Jun in a two-tiered contemporary/period story. Filmed in metropolis Shanghai as well as rural village Hengdian, the movie is shot partly in Mandarin. Not surprisingly, the North American distributor is Twentieth Century Fox; Searchlight opens the film July 15.

Murdoch and Sloan respond to critics who refuse to take them seriously by asserting that their husbands' positions, wealth, and power give their spouses an unfair advantage. “No matter what I do, people say that," explains Murdoch. Sloan adds: “When people--especially lovers of the book--see this, they will know how much effort went into it."

However, the pair makes producing a film seem a little too easy when they talk about how the picture came into being: “We both had read the book and loved it. We thought someone should make it into a movie. And someone became us,” says Sloan. The full interview will be released in Harper’s Bazaar on July 12.

This article is related to: Stuck In Love, Players, Critics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.