PRODUCING PARTNERS DIANE QUON AND JOSEPH CRAIG ACQUIRE FILM RIGHTS TO NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET” BY JAMIE FORD ACTOR GEORGE TAKEI WILL EXECUTIVE PRODUCE ROMANTIC DRAMA
September 6, 2017 – New York, NY Producer Diane Quon announced today that she has acquired the film rights to the New York Times bestseller, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet written by Jamie Ford. Joseph Craig of StemEnt will be producing the film with Quon and legendary actor George Takei has signed on as executive producer.
The film is slated to start production in 2018 with author Jamie Ford co-writing the screenplay.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is the story of 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 WWII. It is a bittersweet tale about racism, commitment and enduring hope–-a noble romantic journey set in 1942, and later in 1986, when the belongings of Japanese families are discovered in the basement of an old hotel. A widower now, Henry must reconcile the past and the present, the things he did or didn’t do, the things he said, and the things he left unspoken. Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, this is a timeless tale of love lost, and found.
“The book tells an intimate love story that is, at once, poignant and sweeping with historic magnitude told against the backdrop of the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII,” says exec producer Takei. “I was captivated by Jamie Ford’s novel when I first read it and visualized a compelling film in my mind’s eye. I saw the drama of enduring love despite governmental racism, the passage of time and the vicissitude of life. What a wonderful film it would make. Now we are beginning the exciting adventure of making it happen.”
“The number one question I get from fans from all around the world is – will there be a film?,” states author Ford. “I’m delighted to say yes, because for years I said no to filmmakers who wanted to change too many things about the story (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 or the book.”
Released in 2009, the Random House novel spent over 130 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and has sold over 2 million books worldwide. It continues to sell 50,000 copies per year, and as recent as this past July, it was ranked as #11 on the iBooks bestselling lists. Ford’s third book, Love and Other Consolation Prizes will be coming out on September 12 also from Random House.
“I read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet when it first came out in 2009 and- just like thousands of readers of the book- I thought the story would make a beautiful film,” states producer Quon. “Now, more than ever, is the right time to make this film. I am excited to work with such an exceptional team to bring this book to life.”
“I fell in love after reading the first fifteen pages of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and immediately knew that I had to be involved in turning it into a film” says producer Craig. “Jamie is a gifted storyteller and I am thrilled to join this talented team with my producing partner Diane Quon in bringing this much beloved bestseller to the screen.”
The deal was brokered by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency, Kassie Evashevski of United Talent Agency, and attorney Wayne Alexander on behalf of Ford and attorney Joe Voss of Leavens, Strand & Glover represented the producers.
About Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Book)
Jamie Ford’s debut novel – Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet tells the story of a Chinese American boy who falls in love with a Japanese American girl as she is sent to an Internment camp during WWII. Forty years later, he discovers the belongings of Japanese families, hidden in the basement of an old Seattle hotel. As he searches, he struggles to reconcile the past and the present.
Published by Random House and released in 2009, the book spent 130 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has graced these bestseller lists as well: USA Today; Publishers Weekly; and Barnes & Noble.
About Diane Quon (Producer)
Diane worked 17 years at NBC and Paramount Pictures where she was last Vice President of Marketing. Now in Chicago, she is producing feature documentaries by Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) including: Minding the Gap directed by Bing Liu; Left-Handed Pianist produced with Chicago Tribune Arts Critic Howard Reich; and The Dilemma of Desire directed by Peabody-winning Maria Finitzo. Diane is a 2017 Film Independent Fellow.
About Joseph Craig (Producer)
About Jamie Ford
Jamie Ford’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. His work has been translated into 35 languages. His new novel, Love and Other Consolation Prizes will be published September 12, 2017.
About George Takei
With a career spanning six decades, George Takei is known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise. But Takei’s story goes where few stories have gone before. From a childhood spent with his family wrongfully imprisoned in Japanese American internment camps during World War II, to becoming one of the country’s leading figures in the fight for social justice, LGBTQ rights, and marriage equality, Takei remains a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture.
Mashable.com named Takei the #1 most-influential person on Facebook, currently with 10.4 million likes and 2.4 million followers on Twitter.
Takei hosts the AARP-produced YouTube series Takei’s Take, and is the subject of To Be Takei, a Jennifer M. Kroot documentary on his life and career. Takei’s Take is a YouTube series where Takei explores the world of technology, trends, current events, and pop culture. On his own YouTube channel, Takei and his husband Brad bring viewers into their personal life in the “heightened reality” web series, It Takeis Two.
Takei made his Broadway debut in the musical, Allegiance that ran in New York in 2015 and 2016. The musical, inspired by Takei’s true-life experience will open in Los Angeles in 2018 as co-production between East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. Takei will star in the production.
In 2017, Takei returned to the New York stage, starring in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures, directed by John Doyle at Classic Stage Company.
Takei’s on-camera television credits include guest appearances on Lost Girl, The Neighbors, Hawaii Five-0, The New Normal, Supah Ninjas, Malcolm in the Middle, Scrubs, Miami Vice, MacGyver, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mission: Impossible, My Three Sons, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Twilight Zone. He has appeared on The Big Bang Theory, Psych, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Will & Grace.
Adding to his resume, Takei has provided narration on many projects including the PBS series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, the Peabody Award-winning radio documentary, Crossing East, centered on the history of Asian American immigration to the United States, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (cassette), which garnered Takei a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Album.
Takei has brought his voiceover talent to hundreds of characters in film, television, video games, and commercials including Mulan, Mulan II; Batman Beyond: The Movie; and Free Birds. He has voiced characters for numerous animated series including The Simpsons, Transformers: Animated, Kim Possible, Futurama, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Spider-Man, The Smurfs and George Lucas’ Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
George Takei is also an accomplished author having co-written the science fiction novel Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe with Robert Asprin, and published his autobiography To the Stars. Takei also authored Lions and Tigers and Bears: The Internet Strikes Back and Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet, released in paperback and e-Book in 2012; the latter ranked #10 on The New York Times e-Book nonfiction list.
The openly gay Takei has long been a passionate advocate for social justice, outspoken supporter of human right issues and a community activist. He has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign “Coming Out Project,” and was Cultural Affairs Chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League. He is also chairman emeritus and a trustee of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. He was appointed to the Japan-US Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to US-Japanese relations. The decoration was conferred by His Majesty, Emperor Akihito, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
Takei lives in Los Angeles with his husband Brad Takei.