Word came from Cannes that the Weinsteins were looking to remake Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, and that they were interested in Zhang Ziyi for the film. Now they’ve signed the actress to a three picture deal, which she’ll begin with a new version of Mulan.
Most of us know Mulan as a Disney cartoon based on a Chinese myth, costarring Eddie Murphy (I like to look at the casting of Murphy as an attempt to heal the tensions between the African American and Chinese American communities I see whenever I pick up my order at Hing Lung Kitchen on Vanderbilt), but it was also a live action film in China in 1956. Zhang Ziyi is right for the role, as she is Chinese, as opposed to any role in Seven Samurai, which is about Japanese people. I know that some of my readers in Arkansas will have a problem making that distinction, but trust me, there is one.
This three picture deal cements the Weinsteins as the people who love to get negatively involved with Asian film. What’s up with these guys? They butcher imports, they want to cast George Clooney in Seven Samurai and word is that they’re totally abusive to the wait staff at Nobu.