Unspoken: Michael Cudlitz & Jake Abel Join Zhang Hanyu Drama

Michael Cudlitz (Clarice, The Walking Dead) and Jake Abel (Malignant, Supernatural) and have signed on to star alongside Zhang Hanyu (The Taking of Tiger Mountain, The Great Wall) and Vivienne Tien (Be Yourself) in Unspoken, a dramatic feature from writer-director Daming Chen that is now in production.

Unspoken tells the story of Xu (Zhang), an estranged father separated from his deaf daughter and her new life at an American university, whose murder reunites them in a way neither could have foreseen. The tragedy pierces Xu with grief and guilt that he couldn’t be present to protect his child. An ex-cop himself, he becomes convinced the local authorities are pursuing the wrong suspect – and that racism is compromising the investigation.

With a young Chinese translator in tow (Tien), who is navigating her own challenging path as a young immigrant, Xu sets out to learn what really happened to his daughter. In doing so, he will not only see justice done, but find redemption as he reconnects with his daughter through the process of bearing witness to her life as a young adult.

Filming is taking place in China and Canada for a 2022 release. Huanxi Media and CMC Pictures of CMC Inc. are producing with Court Five’s Mark Ordesky and Jane Fleming, Han Sanping and CMC’s Ming Beaver Kwei, with Chris Lee, the former president of production at Columbia/TriStar, exec producing.

“The love of Chinese parents is often implicit — the English name of the film Unspoken is actually referring to this type of love — silent yet profound,” said Chen. “In a larger sense, Unspoken is about the transformative power of communication, empathy and understanding.”

“Daming’s vision is as inspiring as it is relevant. We are thrilled to be working with this illustrious Chinese team to ramp a truly international production,” said Ordesky and Fleming in a joint statement, “With three languages (English, Chinese and ASL) being utilized regularly on set, we are living proof that with effort and patience, understanding is always possible.”

Unspoken is a story ultimately about human relationships which we believe will resonate with audience both in and outside of China,” added Huanxi Media CEO Steve Xiang. “Its cross-border setting makes it even more interesting.”

“Exploring the bias that exist within our different cultures both East and West, with this poignant and powerful story driven by intimate drama and intense action, CMC Pictures is privileged and honored to be part of this unique project,” said CMC Pictures CEO Catherine Ying in closing.

Cudlitz is best known for his turn as Abraham in AMC’s The Walking Dead. The actor was most recently seen in Derek Presley’s thriller Red Stone, and in CBS’ Clarice. He has also appeared on the TV side in The Kids Are All Right, Southland and more. Additional film credits include Driven, Pawn Shop Chronicles, Dark Tourist, Inside Out and Sex Drive.

Abel has appeared on the film side in James Wan’s Malignant, Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy, Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill and The Host, the Percy Jackson pics Sea of Monsters and The Lightning Thief, I Am Number Four and The Lovely Bones. His TV credits include Supernatural, Another Life and Dirty John.

Cudlitz is represented by APA, Anonymous Content and attorney Mitch Smelkinson at Goodman, Genow, Schenkman. Abel is repped by APA, Untitled Entertainment and attorney Marcy Morris.

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