The $45m project centres on the gun-runner Morris Abraham Cohen (aka Two-Gun Cohen) and his role as aide-de-camp to China’s first modern president, Sun Yat-Sen.

Bieber Entertainment Enterprises banner acquired the screenplay by Lionel Goldstein and is assembling the project as a co-production between China, Australia and Canada. 

The producers are in talks with leading director and actors and expect to make announcements in the coming months.

“Lionel Goldstein developed this original screenplay over the past twenty years,” Bieber and Duband said. “The Chinese General tells the dramatic and exciting story of how Morris Cohen’s career became interwoven in the lives of the most important players in the formation of modern-day China.”

“This astonishing true story is evidence of the close and faithful friendship enjoyed between Morris Cohen and Madame Soong Ching Ling [Sun Yat-Sen’s wife] and is revealed by the inscription Madame Soong Ching Ling placed on Morris’s tombstone, in the Jewish cemetery in Manchester, England,” Goldstein said.

Bieber previously co-founded a company which pioneered HDTV and its applications in America and is a social activist. Duband is the former president of Warner Bros. International.