The autobiography of Li Cunxin, entitled Mao's Last Dancer, has just been optioned for a big screen adaptation. According to Variety, Bruce Beresford is directing the project.

Li Cunxin was a Chinese peasant who became a famous ballet dancer and later defected to the United States. Jan Sardi, who previously wrote the film adaptation Shine, is writing the screenplay for Mao's Last Dancer.

Producer Jane Scott stated, "While it is true that Bruce has lots of projects on offer, he has absolutely cleared the decks for Mao's Last Dancer. This is the next film he will make."

The film will begin shooting in February of 2008 in Australia, China, and the United States.