EXCLUSIVE: Wayne Wang will direct Brave Dragons, a film based on Jim Yardley’s new book about an NBA coach who moves with his wife to the Chinese industrial city Taiyuan to coach the Shanxi Brave Dragons, one of the worst teams in the Chinese Basketball Association. Jonathan Prince is writing the script. The film is being produced by Jack Lechner, Ira Lechner and Jonathan Bing.
Brave Dragons takes a comedic look at veteran NBA head coach Bob Weiss and his spectacularly loyal wife as they discover the exotic world of China over the course of a single season in the CBA. The Shanxi Brave Dragons are owned by Boss Wang, who did things that even Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wouldn’t conceive. An irascible steel tycoon, Boss Wang would sit on the bench and berates and even physically attacks his ragtag cast of international misfit players. That included two NBA cast-offs whom Boss Wang lured in an effort to build a Chinese Dream Team.
The book was written by Jim Yardley, the Pulitzer Prize-winning South Asia Bureau Chief of The New York Times. It is as much a sports story as it is a study of the culture clash between the US and China. Many of Wang’s films focus on that globalization and a changing China, and he’s also helmed The Joy Luck Club and Snow Flower And The Secret Fan.
Prince is a writer/producer and director who has served as Writer/EP for TV series including Cane, The Cleaner and American Dreams. He’s developing a web-series starring Whoopi Goldberg, an hourlong TV drama based on the New Zealand sci-fi soap This is Not My Life, and an hourlong drama adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s House Rules. He also scripted the feature Cadillac High. Wang and Yardley are repped by ICM Partners, Prince by the Rothman Brecher Agency and by manager Howard Klein.