Ever wonder how and why Americans are always so obsessed with pandas? Every time one gives birth its like a national holiday, and the news coverage is just shy of the Presidential elections. Well, you have socialite Ruth Harkness to thank for it, as she was the first to bring a live giant panda into this country. And the story of how she did it is about to become a movie starring Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation's Rebecca Ferguson.
Ferguson will star in an adaptation of Harkness' memoir and correspondence, The Lady and the Panda. Directed and co-written by Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), the film tells the story of Harkness, a New York socialite whose husband had died while in China searching for a panda. She decided to take up the expedition herself, and joined by Chinese guide Quentin Young they passed through Chongqing and Chengdu into a mountainous region where they rescued an orphaned 9-week-old panda cub. In 1936 she brought the cub, named Su Lin, to America and it became a national sensation.
The busy Ferguson, who was last seen in The Girl On the Train, will begin filming on The Lady and the Panda next month.