Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Thomas Anderson Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Thomas Anderson WB Reveals Full DC Slate Through 2020, Including Two 'Justice League' Pics, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Green Lantern' & More WB Reveals Full DC Slate Through 2020, Including Two 'Justice League' Pics, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Green Lantern' & More Brad Bird Explains Why He Passed On Directing 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Brad Bird Explains Why He Passed On Directing 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Shia LaBeouf Cut His Own Face, Fought The Cast & Got A Tooth Pulled Making 'Fury' Shia LaBeouf Cut His Own Face, Fought The Cast & Got A Tooth Pulled Making 'Fury' Robert Downey Jr. To Join Chris Evans In ‘Captain America 3’ Which Will Help Launch A New Phase Of Marvel Robert Downey Jr. To Join Chris Evans In ‘Captain America 3’ Which Will Help Launch A New Phase Of Marvel BFI London Film Festival Review: Susanne Bier's Long-Delayed 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper BFI London Film Festival Review: Susanne Bier's Long-Delayed 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Oscar Buzz: Who's Going To Challenge For Best Actress This Year? Oscar Buzz: Who's Going To Challenge For Best Actress This Year? Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Films Are Becoming “Old" And Showing "Signs Of Fraying Around The Edges” Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Films Are Becoming “Old" And Showing "Signs Of Fraying Around The Edges” Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 6 ‘Devil You Know’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 6 ‘Devil You Know’ Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Chinese Superstar Gong Li Joins Tarsem Singh's 'Marco Polo'

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist May 29, 2012 at 6:25PM

As the historical 13th century voyage of Marco Polo stands as a symbol of the West's relationship to China, it seems fitting that an upcoming feature film about the explorer, long gestating from “The Fall” director Tarsem Singh, will provide opportunities for both cultures to partner up on the project.
2
Gong Li Tarsem Singh

As the historical 13th century voyage of Marco Polo stands as a symbol of the West's relationship to China, it seems fitting that an upcoming feature film about the explorer, long gestating from “The Fall” director Tarsem Singh, will provide opportunities for both cultures to partner up on the project.

Screen Daily reports Chinese actress Gong Li, previously seen State-side in “Miami Vice” and “Memoirs of a Geisha” will star in the pic as a Mongolian empress. Li is of course a superstar in her native lands, but she personally hopes the film, an American/Chinese collaboration between Endgame Entertainment, will promote a more expansive film landscape. “So far the collaboration between China and the US has mainly involved Chinese actors going to work abroad,” Li said, “so it's a great thing to have a Chinese story shoot in China with both Chinese and foreign actors.” Such joint ventures have slowly grown in prominence as of late, with projects such as Rian Johnson's “Looper” and “Iron Man 3” securing financing with Chinese film companies in exchange for on-location work.

Li is the first major talent to come on-board the project, as the role of Marco Polo hasn't even been cast yet, but still the actress is confident in Tarsem's abilities, saying he's the kind of “audacious filmmaker you need to make a film about Marco Polo.” Audacious is probably the most fitting way to describe the director, but after his misguided foray into slapstick and family fare with “Mirror, Mirror,” he looks destined to remain a superb visual stylist with little flair for actual compelling characters. This writer thinks “The Fall” remains his crowning achievement thus far, with a much-vaunted, natural performance by Catinca Untaru and a fantastic narrative to boot, but he needs a strong script to rein him in from his flourishes if any future films are to succeed.

At any rate, an actress on the level of Gong Li is sure to help matters along, so time will tell if Tarsem can get his act together when the film lenses in inner Mongolia later this year.

This article is related to: Gong Li, Tarsem, Marco Polo


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates