Actress Rebecca Ferguson has been roped in to star as fashion designer and socialite Ruth Harkness in the upcoming historical adventure film “The Lady and the Panda”.

The film is expected to go on floors next month in China, reports variety.com.

“The Lady and the Panda” is a British-Chinese co-production, produced by Laura Bickford and Michelle Qi.

Harkness was the first person to bring a live panda from China to the United States. She was a New York socialite whose wealthy explorer husband died unexpectedly in 1936. She took over his expedition to China, joined forces with Chinese guide Quentin Young, and travelled into the uncharted Himalayas, where, against all odds, they rescued an orphaned baby panda.

The panda, Su Lin, was bottle-fed baby formula as Harkness took the panda back to the US and created a nationwide sensation. But before long, Harkness realised that pandas are best preserved in their natural habitat. Su Lin ended up at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

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