According to Varety, Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal will make a film about the rise of Mao Zedong and communism in China, using as a resource one of the only Western journalists on the ground to watch the events unfold.

The studio has optioned the Roy Rowan memoir "Chasing the Dragon: A Veteran Journalist's Firsthand Account of the 1949 Chinese Revolution." Jon Marans and Yuri Sivo will write the screenplay and Rowan will be a consultant.

Universal bought the project based on a pitch by the writers, who'll weave the story into an epic-sized drama with a love story.