- Don’t be too surprised if you’re walking down Nanjing Lu next month and you see a bronze chariot rampaging down the street. War hasn’t arrived. It’s just one of the shoots for the Hollywood blockbuster The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor which stars Jet Li as Emperor Qin Shihuang, alongside Brendan Fraser and Michelle Yeoh of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame. We hear it’s a massive production (like anything isn’t in China), and they’re still looking for another 1,200 extras. So for those of you that missed the chance to be cast in The Painted Veil, your next shot at Hollywood has arrived.
- To the reader on our Contribute page who saw “Steve Buscemi and a table full of NYC-ish hipsters” dining on the terrace at M on the Bund the other night, it appears Buscemi is in town for the shoot of John Rabe, a drama based on the Nanjing Massacre. John Rabe, played by German actor Ulrich Tukur, is described here as “a card-carrying Nazi and Siemens executive who managed to create a safe zone in the city and to save the lives of 200,000 civilians (which rather puts Oskar Schindler’s efforts to shame)”. Steve Buscemi plays American doctor Robert Wilson, who stayed on in Nanjing during the Japanese occupation to care for the sick and wounded. We don’t know what it is, but apparently, FOUR other dramas based on the Nanjing massacre are also being shot at the moment: Nanking Nanking, The Diary, Nanking Xmas 1937 and Purple Mountain. Some propaganda machine at work?
- For all you baseball fans: The Major League Baseball International (MLBI) has reached an agreement with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) that will mean a significantly increased exposure of the sport in China. The 2007 World Series will be “broadcast live in its entirety on Great Sports, the country’s leading cable sports channel.”
- Jackie Chan who is currently working with Beijing Television on “The Disciple,” his Chinese talent show (gawd, not another of those) has advice for all aspiring kungfu stars: Don’t bow to me. He writes on his blog: “Some preliminary competitors would introduce themselves the old-period kung-fu way: the fist of one hand clenched firmly, the palm of the other wrapped on top, head slightly bowed, then saying, `All the heroes here today, please advise and correct my wrongdoings,’… [The greeting] is old-fashioned and definitely not what I’m looking for… I think actors of today should adapt to situations appropriately, like using old-fashioned terms for old-fashioned movies or using modern-day speech for modern-day films. Actors shouldn’t mix old-fashioned speech with modern-day films. It just doesn’t fit.” Wow, talk about breaking stereotypes.
Photo of a Mummy 3 set in a Hebei Province desert from China.org.cn