The Expatriates TV Series

Writer and director Lulu Wang made a huge splash this year with the Sundance selected indie sensation The Farewell. Though Wang herself didn’t score a nomination for directing from either the Indie Spirit Awards or Golden Globes, the film did, and it’s a fantastic showcase of her talents both on the page and behind the camera. Now she’ll get to flex those skills again with what will presumably be a bigger budget project in the form of an Amazon drama series called The Expatriates.

The Expatriates is a series adaptation based on Janice Y.K. Lee’s novel of the same name, focusing on the lives of a few expatriate women and their struggles while living in Hong Kong. The series is being produced by Nicole Kidman and Per Saari by way of the duo’s Blossom Films production banner. Alice Bell (The Beautiful Lie) was previously hired as writer and executive producer, and now she’ll be joined by Lulu Wang, who will not only be writing and executive producing herself, but will also direct several episodes.

If you haven’t heard of The Expatriates, here’s the book’s synopsis from Amazon:

Mercy, a young Korean American and recent Columbia graduate, is adrift, undone by a terrible incident in her recent past. Hilary, a wealthy housewife, is haunted by her struggle to have a child, something she believes could save her foundering marriage. Meanwhile, Margaret, once a happily married mother of three, questions her maternal identity in the wake of a shattering loss. As each woman struggles with her own demons, their lives collide in ways that have irreversible consequences for them all.

This sounds like the perfect drama for Wang, who delivered a truly touching story about in The Farewell, which followed a Chinese family putting on a fake wedding so they can all say goodbye to their grandmother, who has been diagnosed with an advanced cancer. There’s hilarity, heart and a story that is simultaneously universal while also be specifically representative of a culture that hasn’t been represented very well on the big screen over the years. Wang clearly felt the story was right for her too, telling Deadline:

“When I first read Janice Lee’s diasporic novel, I was immediately drawn to the rich characters and the global yet intimate exploration of life in modern Hong Kong. I’m thrilled to be working with Nicole Kidman and Amazon, whose commitment to bold, nuanced storytelling make them the perfect partners to translate this atmospheric story to screen.”

We’re not sure when the series is supposed to begin production, but we’ll keep you posted.

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