Wolf Totem( Chinese :狼??, French :Le Dernier Loup) is a 2015 Chinese-language drama film based on the 2004 Chinese semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Lu Jiamin . Directed by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud , the Chinese-French co-production features a Chinese student who is sent to Inner Mongolia to teach shepherds and instead learns about the wolf population, which is under threat by a government apparatchik.
The Beijing Forbidden City Film Corporation initially sought to hire a Chinese director, but filming humans with real wolves was considered too difficult. New Zealand director Peter Jackson was approached, but production did not take place. Annaud, whose 1997 filmSeven Years in Tibetis banned in China, was hired despite the history. The film was produced under China Film Group and French-based Reperage. The French director, who had worked with animals on other films, acquired a dozen wolf pups in China and had them trained for several years by a Canadian animal trainer. With a production budget ofUS$40 million, Annaud filmedWolf Totemin Inner Mongolia , where the book is set, for over a year.
The film premiered at the European Film Market onFebruary 7, 2015. It was released in China onFebruary 19, 2015, for the start of the Chinese New Year , and it was released in France onFebruary 25, 2015.