Production of The Weinstein Company’s period piece Shanghai is to relocate to Thailand and England following its forced exit from China, reports Variety.
Company co-prexy Harvey Weinstein considered Hong Kong and other Asian locations but said, “Hong Kong doesn’t have the colonial era setting we need; it is difficult to find a building here less than 50 stories high. So we will be going to Thailand and, believe it or not, England.”
The film is to be directed by Swedish helmer Mikael Hafstrom from a screenplay by Hossein Amini and will star John Cusack, Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li and Ken Watanabe.
Hafstrom last month learned that the pic, which was in pre-production in China, had been denied the shooting permit it expected to receive. TWC had spent nearly $3 million building sets.
Weinstein said, “The (Chinese authorities’) decision has everything to do with not liking the script, especially elements about (Chinese-Japanese) collaboration.”
Set in 1940s Japanese-occupied Shanghai, the story involves an American who stumbles across government secrets while investigating the death of his friend.