As you might know, director Tarsem Singh
(Mirror, Mirror) is headed to China to apply his visual skills to a historical drama oriented big screen effort. He will be joined on his Marco Polo journey by Chinese superstar Gong Li
in a lead role. Memoirs of a Geisha’s Li is the first major talent to come on-board the project, playing a Mongolian Empress.
The thesp playing Marco Polo has not yet been announced. The story follows the 13th century Venetian explorer on his adventures in China, while it is not known yet who wrote the script.
Gong said last week that the film would be an English language period picture, but would be a major US/China co-production:
So far the collaboration between China and the US has mainly involved Chinese actors going to work abroad, so it’s a great thing to have a Chinese story shoot in China with both Chinese and foreign actors.
The actress said of the director that he was just the kind of
audacious film-maker you need to make a film about Marco Polo.
The project doesn’t have a title yet, but production is scheduled to begin in late 2012.
Besides Rob Marshall’s Memoirs, Gong’s English language credits include Mikael Hafstrom’s Shanghai, Michael Mann’s Miami Vice and Peter Webber’s Hannibal Rising.