Barry Levinson to Direct Untitled Love Story Set in Shanghai

Ronald Harwood ("The Pianist") is writing the script for producer Mike Medavoy

Last Updated: July 24, 2014 @ 12:41 PM

Once he wraps the Boston-set gangster movie "Black Mass" director Barry Levinson will fly halfway around the world to film an untitled love story that will be set in Shanghai.

Shanghai Film Group is financing the mid-budget movie, which Mike Medavoy is producing with Rafaella De Laurentiis and Edward McGurn.

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Originally written by Hannah Shakespeare, story follows a group of Jews who escape from Leningrad and take refuge in Japan-occupied Shanghai, where romance is kindled amid the chaos of a world at war.

Ronald Harwood ("The Pianist") is now adapting the script, which will be loosely based on Bei La's romance novel "The Cursed Piano."

Medavoy, who was born in Shanghai, previously worked with Levinson on "Bugsy" and also produced the John Cusack thriller "Shanghai" for the Weinstein Co., which has yet to release the film in the U.S.

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Levinson, who won an Oscar for directing "Rain Man," is repped by UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Variety first reported Levinson's involvement with the project.