The Night Manager and The Little Drummer Girl indie, The Ink Factory and Endeavor Content are developing C Pam Zhang’s critically acclaimed debut novel How Much of These Hills is Gold for television.

Anita Gou (The Farewell, Honey Boy) is also attached to executive produce under her Kindred Spirit banner. The book was selected as a Barack Obama Book of the Year for 2020, and the series adaptation will be written by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Hansol Jung, whose credits include Netflix’s “Tales of the City” and Apple TV+’s “Pachinko”. Joseph Tsai and Arthur Wang of Hong Kong and London-based media investment firm 127 Wall Productions, key donors in the recently launched philanthropic TAFF – The Asian American Foundation, will executive produce alongside Stephen Cornwell, Simon Cornwell, and Katherine Butler at The Ink Factory.

C Pam Zhang said: “It feels quietly revolutionary to think that I might see two Chinese American kids swagger and stride across the screen, heroes of an American cinematic tradition I have always adored – it’s exactly where they belong, where Chinese Americans have always belonged. What a joy to have this team that already includes female and queer perspectives from the Asian diaspora, and that I hope will grow to include even more voices.”

Kindred Spirit’s Anita Gou added: “C Pam Zhang’s fearless debut novel is an essential reimagining of the Western genre that powerfully confronts the erasure of Chinese Americans from the origin myth of America. Hansol is a singular voice whose works we’ve long admired, and we’re so excited to have her be at the helm of this adaptation. At Kindred Spirit we are always committed to supporting storytellers who seek to challenge the status quo with new perspectives, and it’s a dream come true for us to be a part of this project.”

Katherine Butler, Creative Director at The Ink Factory, said: “We fell in love at first read with Pam’s stunning novel which combines an epic revisionist sweep with moving and intimate portraits of its two young protagonists. How Much of These Hills is Gold is a compellingly told story of the American West from a culturally, socially and gender-identity diverse perspective, and we feel hugely privileged to be adapting it with our amazingly talented screenwriter Hansol Jung and the brilliant Anita Gou whose work we love. We are actively diversifying our slate at Ink by combining exciting untapped voices and perspectives with established expertise, leveraging our position as creators to make meaningfully inclusive entertainment – and we feel honoured to be able to work with such amazing people as Pam, Hansol and Anita to tell stories as incredible and important as this one.”

Arthur Wang, co-Chairman of 127 Wall Productions said: “We are tremendously excited to help bring this utterly beautiful and important book to the screen – and thrilled to be working with two brilliant creative voices in Anita Gou and Hansol Jung, alongside our long-term partners The Ink Factory.”

In the twilight of the Gold Rush, Chinese-American siblings, Lucy and Sam, cross the treacherous California hills with a gun in their hands and a corpse on their backs. Suddenly alone and on the run from the threats of their western mining town, these siblings roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial. How Much of These Hills is Gold is a sweeping adventure tale told through a multi-cultural revisionist lens about the unforgettable journey of two young people through childhood and adolescence. Following the coming of age of characters and country alike, this narrative gives voice to the unspoken histories which are too often ignored. Zhang’s remarkable novel about a family bound and divided by its memories through time is told against the backdrop of the building of the West, highlighting the lessons of the past that can be used to understand the present. The novel was longlisted for the 2020 Man Booker Prize and named as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book of the Year, and one of NPR’s Best Books of 2020.


Jon Creamer

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