UPDATED! The answer to the question, ‘Who is less reliable than the British tabloids’ is actually pretty easy to answer, and it’s ‘The Asian press.’ The Asian papers never met a half-baked rumor or misquote that they didn’t feel comfortable blowing way up into something bigger. This makes the following news story even more suspect than your usual half bullshit casting rumor:
Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere is claiming that he was able to translate this Asian news story, which essentially lays out that Gong Li has said she’ll be unavailable to be the jury president at the Taiwan Golden Horse Film Festival in June because she’s in negotiations to appear in a major Hollywood movie that starts shooting that month. Wells took a look at the calendar and realized that it was quite likely that the movie she’s talking about is none other than Indiana Jones IV.
Could it be? Could Gong Li be the other female lead in the film? If so, this means that between Li and Cate Blanchett, Lucas and Spielberg are filling the movie with an unprecedented for the series amount of female talent. And what role could she be playing? If she’s playing a grown up, sex changed Short Round I take back everything I have said about this project thus far, as this is obviously a movie of intense and personal genius. However it’s more likely that she’s either playing the good old dragon lady villain, the inscrutable ally who makes not much more than a cameo or she has the bad luck to rub her face on the mummified features of Ford as his love interest. If any of this is true, that is.
UPDATE: Drew McWeeny, aka Moriarty of Aint It Cool News fame, debunks the story. He says that Gong Li is going to be starring in The Mummy 3, not Indiana Jones IV.