De Niro to film the rise of Mao
Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal are set to make a film about the rise of Mao Zedong and communism in China from the point of view of one of the only western journalists who was there at the time.
The book from Roy Rowan called Chasing the Dragon: A Veteran Journalist's Firsthand Account of the 1949 Chinese Revolution (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com), tells that very story and has just been optioned by Universal.
The book tells Rowan's story in China as one of only two western writers living there at the time through these events. Writing for Life Magazine he witnessed some of the fundamental events of the times including China's civil war and the rise of Mao, and had to eventually find his way out of the country. From all accounts it is quite a gripping tale.
According to Variety Jon Marans and Yuri Sivo will write the screenplay with Rowan consulting on the story. It's not clear if Robert De Niro is planning to direct as yet. Personally I would love it if he did and this was more than a producing role, I think his Good Shephard film showed what a strong Director he can be, and with such a politically motivated story to film, I think it would be a great choice for him.