EXCLUSIVE: Majority Franco-Chinese production due to start shooting in April.

Wild Bunch has taken on European sales of Jean-Jacques Annaud’s upcoming Mongolia-set 3D picture Wolf Totem, an adaptation of the eponymous Chinese bestseller about a student who is sent to Inner Mongolia for re-education during the Cultural Revolution.

The picture is a majority Chinese-French co-production involving veteran Hong Kong producer Bill Kong, China Film Group and Annaud’s long-time French producer Xavier Castano.

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The $38 million, 3D picture is due to start shooting in China in April. Wild Bunch will handle European sales while Kong will oversee the US, Latin America and Asia. China Film Group will distribute the film in China. Paris-based Mars Distribution has acquired French rights. The deal was sealed on Friday at the EFM.

Wolf Totem, written by Lu Jiamin under the pseudonym Jiang Rong, is one of the best-selling Chinese novels of all time in China. It follows a Chinese student who is sent to Inner Mongolia for re-education. During his time living among the nomads and wolves on the steppe, he develops a deep respect for freedom andnature, themes explored in Annaud’s previous films The Bear and Two Brothers.