Thompson on Hollywood

Fox Searchlight acquires only a few films each year. So one reason why Fox Searchlight Pictures co-presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula picked up Wayne Wang's 19th-century drama Snow Flower and the Secret Fan can be found in the producing credits.

The IDG China Media film, based on Lisa See's novel by Ron Bass, Angela Workman and Michael Ray, is produced by Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch's wife, Wendi, with Florence Sloan and exec producer Hugo Shong.

The film stars Gianna Jun and Li Bing Bing as friends with a special bond from childhood who live isolated lives with bound feet, but communicate with each other via a secret language; an added contemporary story mirrors their devotion. The film is about 50/50 English and Chinese, says Searchlight. Wang is still editing.