Saturday, December 1, 2007

Gong Li returns to Hollywood

Gong Li has been confirmed for Mikael Hafstrom's new film Shanghai. Hafstrom was responsible for this summer's effective but pretty mediocre hit 1408 with John Cusack. It seems that Cusack will play the lead in Shanghai with Gong Li as the mysterious love interest. Shanghai will be a period piece that takes place in Japanese-occupied Shanghai shortly before the US's entry into World War II. As far as I can tell, Shanghai looks to be a sort of espionage/mystery/thriller. The script was written by Hossein Amini who also wrote The Four Feathers.

Gong Li most recent film was Zhang Yimou's visually stunning Curse of the Golden Flower (right), but she has made a handful of appearances in Hollywood films ranging from the worst, Memoirs of a Geisha, to the best, Miami Vice, with Hannibal Rising somewhere in between. Back in the day, when Gong Li was the leading lady for Zhang Yimou, and star of the Chinese art house film circuit, see was quoted in saying that Hollywood offers of playing dumbed down female roles did not interest her. That was well over ten years ago that I read that interview, and while things have no doubt changed for her, I wouldn't say she has sold out by any means. Although I am not sure about the pairing with John Cusack, I look forward to seeing Gong Li in this film.

Shanghai is slated to shoot in 2008 and to be released sometime in 2009.


Barry said...

Not to be confused with the upcoming Wong Kar-Wai remake of Orson Welles' The Lady from Shanghai, which looks set to release the same year.

Shameless plug...I've booked the original for Jan 21, details at


Kathie Smith said...

Excellent point Barry, although I wonder if WKW's Lady From Shanghai production will stay on track...

As for the original, I love it and I look forward to seeing it again on the big screen. I just read that it was made after Welles and Hayworth had called it quits as a couple - I don't think I knew that when I first saw it, and it definitely adds an interesting dimension to the film.

Barry Kryshka said...

Hi Kathie, I just posted the five film series to, and I'd appreciate any exposure you're interested in giving it. Us. The films, I mean.

I'm proud of the way this set came together: Carol Reed, Billy Wilder, Jules Dassin, Orson Welles and Sam Fuller.

While I was looking around for graphics to use on our promo card, I found a fantastic Welles/Hayworth photo. We couldn't find a use for it, but you should take a look:

Kathie Smith said...

That photo is great! Welles has a look like 'Is she going to eat me or kiss me.'

I'm super excited to see all these films on the big screen! Thanks so much!

Barry Kryshka said...

Thank you for the noir post! I submitted the post to mnspeak, and Max Sparber put it up, which might send some traffic in your direction.

If you're planning to see Double Indemnity, please introduce yourself, so I can thank you (and talk about future Take-Up plans too).