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‘Shang-Chi’ Movie Star Simu Liu’s ‘One True Loves’ Sells Wide for Highland Film Group

U.S. domestic, U.K., Russia, Spain and Latin America among territories sold on film adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling novel.

Highland Film Group has pre-sold distribution rights to key international territories on romance “One True Loves,” starring Simu Liu (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”).

The film adaption of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling novel also stars Emmy and Tony-nominated Phillipa Soo (“Hamilton”) and Luke Bracey (“Holidate”). Written by Alex J. and Taylor Jenkins Reid, the film will be directed by Andy Fickman (“Playing With Fire”), and follows the love story of a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

Highland Film Group represented international rights at the Toronto International Film Festival with the company’s domestic distribution arm, The Avenue, acquiring U.S. domestic rights. SquareOne Entertainment, who are also executive producing alongside Highland Film Group, has picked up all German-speaking territories.

Signature Entertainment has acquired the U.K. and Ireland, VLG.Film Russia/The Baltics, Eagle Films the Middle East, Sun Distribution Group Latin America and Spain, FilmFinity South Africa, Studiocanal Australia/New Zealand, DFW Benelux, NOS Lusomundo Audiovisuais Portugal, Prorom Bulgaria, ex-Yugoslavia, Czech Republic/Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, TVN Poland and Forum Film Israel.

The film is produced by Volition Media Partners’ Adam Beasley and Michael Jefferson (“Supercell”), Willie Kutner (“Sundown”), Fickman, Betsy Sullenger (“The Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”) and Sarah Finn (“WandaVision”). The film is executive produced by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Alex J. Reid, Highland Film Group’s Delphine Perrier and Arianne Fraser and SquareOne Productions’ Al Munteanu.

“We are thrilled to have our international partners come on board to distribute ‘One True Loves,’ a beautiful and universal story of love and loss,” said Highland Film Group CEO Arianne Fraser.

“Thanks to our distributors’ incredible marketing and distribution teams, the film will reach audiences around the world and show new sides of our multi-faceted talent who are known for international hits such as the Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’ and Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,’” added COO Delphine Perrier.

“One True Loves” will begin filming Oct. 11 on location in North Carolina.

Highland Film Group’s current sales slate also includes Renny Harlin’s “The Misfits” starring Pierce Brosnan, Nick Cannon and Tim Roth; Allan Ungar’s “Bandit” starring Josh Duhamel, Mel Gibson and Elisha Cuthbert; Stephan Rick’s “The Good Neighbor” starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Luke Kleintank; Avan Jogia’s “Door Mouse” starring Hayley Law, Famke Janssen and Keith Powers and Joel Souza’s “Rust,” starring Alec Baldwin.

‘Shang-Chi’ Stars Simu Liu and Awkwafina on Representation in Marvel’s First Asian-Led Superhero Film

At the premiere of Marvels’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” star Simu Liu told Variety he believes the superhero movie has the power to “change the world.”

And the actor is not exaggerating.

In a year where the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has faced the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a rising tide of anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes, the debut of “Shang-Chi” — Marvel’s first Asian-led superhero movie — is a “watershed moment” for the culture at large.

When asked how it feels star in the film and be “the first,” Liu quipped, “No pressure.”

“I’m looking forward to the moment where we no longer celebrate firsts,” he explained. “Where we’re celebrating seconds, and thirds, and fourths, and fifths. So I’ll take this moment for what it is. It is absolutely that watershed moment…But I hope that there are many more just like it afterwards.”

Benedict Wong, who has played the master of magical arts Wong since 2016’s “Doctor Strange” (and was Marvel’s most high-profile Asian hero before Shang-Chi’s introduction) also spoke to the importance of the new movie.

“It’s a cinematic historic moment,” Wong said. “To have all these incredible artists all together in one film, I don’t think we could have done it anywhere else, but on a Marvel platform. With the Black community having their ‘Black Panther’ moment — incredible. [Now,] we’re having ours, and I’m really, really excited.”

“Simu’s such an incredible leading man,” Wong continued, adding that screen legends Michelle Yeoh and Tony Leung presence in the film turned him into a total fanboy.

Awkwafina, who stars as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy was equally hyped to join the cast, from the moment she was approached by director and co-writer Destin Daniel Cretton.

“When Destin first told me his vision of ‘Shang-Chi’, the story that he wanted to tell, I felt that it was very important and I wanted to be a part of it,” she said. “I also think that Simu does an amazing job and, if I was a kid and I saw him as a superhero, I think that they would affect me and impact me.”

Assembled alongside Liu, Awkwafina, Wong and Cretton for the superhero movie’s premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood were stars Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Benedict Wong, Ronny Chieng, Andy Le, Jodi Long, Dallas Liu, Jayden Zhang, screenwriter Dave Callaham, writer Andrew Lanham, as well as special guest Sir Ben Kingsley.

Guests like “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu, Daniel Dae Kim, “Good Trouble” star Sherry Cola, and “Kung Fu’s” Olivia Liang also walked the red carpet to celebrate the historic event. Marvel president and producer Kevin Feige, producer Jonathan Schwartz, executive producers Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito and Charles Newirth and casting director Sarah Finn also made appearances to champion the movie, which debuts in theaters on Sept. 3.