*

 

9.06.2017

"No whitewashing allowed": 'Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet' is getting a movie adaptation

Jamie Ford's bestselling debut novel is being developed into a film, executive produced by George Takei.



Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, the best-selling debut novel by Jamie Ford, is being developed into a feature film, with none other than actor/activist George Takei serving as executive producer.

George Takei To Exec Produce 'Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet'; Diane Quon & Joseph Craig Acquire Rights

The acclaimed 2009 novel follows Henry Lee, a Chinese American boy in Seattle who falls in love with Keiko, a Japanese American girl, as she is sent to an internment camp during World War II. Decades later, when the belongings of Japanese Americans families are discovered in the basement of an old hotel in Japantown, Henry must reconcile the past and the present, and confront the choices he made many years ago.

According to Deadline, producer Diane Quon has acquired the film rights with Joseph Craig of StemEnt. The film is scheduled to start production in 2018 with Ford co-writing the script.



"The number one question I get from fans all around the world is -- will there be a film?" Ford tells Deadline."I'm delighted to say yes because for years I said no to filmmakers who wanted to change too many things about the (like the ethnicity of my main character). With this team, I'm confident that fans will get a satisfying film that remains true to the spirit of the book."

It's not surprising that there's been previous interest in adapting House on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet into a movie. Back in 2007, when Jamie first sold the book, I speculated that it would make a great movie.

You know what's also not at all surprising? That filmmakers have wanted to change the main character into -- what else? -- a white guy. Big props to Jamie Ford (who is a former Angry Reader of the Week) for sticking to his guns and waiting for the right creators to bring this story to the big screen -- the right way.

In an email, Jamie put it to me succinctly: "No whitewashing allowed."

(It should be noted that a couple of years ago, Jamie freaked out some folks on April Fool's Day claiming that House on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet had been optioned as a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, starring Vin Diesel as Henry Lee, à la Fast & Furious. I must admit, aside from the fantasy whitewashing, I would be more than a little morbidly curious about the movie version in which "Henry trades in his little red wagon for a '67 Mustang Fastback that tears up the streets of Seattle's Chinatown.")

Meanwhile, Jamie Ford's latest novel Love and Other Consolation Prizes hits shelves next week.