Don’t call Wendi Murdoch and Florence Sloan trophy wives. The women, who are married to media mogul Rupert Murdoch and ex-MGM CEO Harry Sloan, respectively, tell Harper’s Bazaar about their new roles as Hollywood producers for their first film, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
The Wayne Wang movie, adapted from Lisa See’s elegant and stirring 2005 novel about a lifetime female friendship in 19th century China, stars the Murdoch’s Australian chum Hugh Jackman and ingenues Li Bing Bing and Gianna Jun in a two-tiered contemporary/period story. Filmed in metropolis Shanghai as well as rural village Hengdian, the movie is shot partly in Mandarin. Not surprisingly, the North American distributor is Twentieth Century Fox; Searchlight opens the film July 15.
Murdoch and Sloan respond to critics who refuse to take them seriously by asserting that their husbands’ positions, wealth, and power give their spouses an unfair advantage. “No matter what I do, people say that,” explains Murdoch. Sloan adds: “When people–especially lovers of the book–see this, they will know how much effort went into it.”
However, the pair makes producing a film seem a little too easy when they talk about how the picture came into being: “We both had read the book and loved it. We thought someone should make it into a movie. And someone became us,” says Sloan. The full interview will be released in Harper’s Bazaar on July 12.