This should make you titter in giddy delight: it has been announced that Gong Li will star in a China-American co-production The Last Empress, as the empress dowager Cixi. This project has 'unlikely' written all over it, and I can't wait to see how ridiculously campy this will turn out to be. The plot will purportedly chronicle Cixi’s life and her complex relationships with Emperor Guang Xu (played by Datoh Michelle Yeoh, fingers crossed). I can already forsee problems because I don't think the Manchurian court dress will allow for many scenes where Gong Li can run around the vast and forbidding corridors of the Forbidden City with heaving breasts spilling from a corset and chin thrust determinedly out whilst throwing hot tea at Zhang Zi Yi in a fit of rage! Pant, pant!
Please, Seven Stars Film Studios, please also cast Ms Zhang in this movie? Let her be some hapless palace maiden or even a ninja assasin? She should be slapped with energy and violence in every scene she appears by Cixi! It will be rivetting! Remember the big-budget film Memoirs of a Geisha? This promises to be its sequel in terms of histrionics and comedy. Can't wait!
But for now, The Last Empress is still seeking a director. This means that we can be holding our breaths forever although the film's producers are eager to get things going, hoping to shoot in October.