“Star Trek” actor, activist and pop culture fixture George Takei will be executive producing a film adaptation of Jamie Ford’s novel, “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” Deadline has reported.
“Hotel” tells the story of Henry Lee, a Chinese American boy from Seattle who meets and falls in love with a Japanese American girl, Keiko, who is dragged to an internment camp with her family in the wake of Pearl Harbor and America’s involvement in World War II. Years later, as a widower, Henry begins to reflect on his past romance with Keiko after the belongings of Japanese internment victims are found in a hotel.
Takei described the story as “at once, poignant and sweeping with historic magnitude” in a statement.
“I was captivated by Jamie Ford’s novel when I first read it and visualized a compelling film in my mind’s eye,” Takei said. “I saw the drama of enduring love despite governmental racism, the passage of time and the vicissitude of life. What a wonderful film it would make. Now we are beginning the exciting adventure of making it happen.”
“Hotel” fans have been asking Jamie Ford for years whether or not his novel would get a movie. The author said that he had been approached by studios before about turning his book into a film, but it was not until Takei that he was finally convinced.
“I’m delighted to say yes because for years I said no to filmmakers who wanted to change too many things about the story (like the ethnicity of my main character),” Ford said. “With this team, I’m confident that fans will get a satisfying film that remains true to the spirit or the book.”
“Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” was first published by Random House in 2009. Ford will also be co-writing the script for the film adaptation, production for which is expected to begin in 2018.