|Gong Li (File photo)
||Zhang Ziyi (File
BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhuanet)-- Noted Chinese film star Gong Li, instead of Zhang Ziyi, has been invited by director Tim Burton to lead the Hollywood movie "Believe It or Not," according to Paramount Pictures lately.
Gong Li, who is currently filming ace director Zhang
Yimou's "Wearing Golden Armor Across the City" in Beijing, will join the
cast of the movie, a biopic of actor-explorer Robert Ripley, starring
Zhang Ziyi, another Chinese rising actress, was
originally invited to lead the film, but was finally replaced by Gong Li. Gong's
fluency in English is reportedly the factor that won her the role. Paramount
Pictures, producer of "Believe It or Not" said Gong is more suitable.
"Believe It or Not" picks up with Ripley at the time
when he gained celebrity status through a "Believe it or Not" column that
chronicled his search for the greatest oddities in the world.
The film is expected to be finished in 2007. Tim
Burton is known for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Corpse Bride." Jim
Carrey is known for "Mask."
Gong rose to stardom over a decade ago with art house
hits like "Red Sorghum" and "Raise the Red Lantern." She recently carved a niche
in Hollywood after appearing in "Miami Vice," "Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask"
and "Memoirs of a Geisha."
Moreover, she has confirmed her role in James
Huth's English-language movie "The Yellow M," produced by the French company
Telema with a budget of 33 million U.S. dollars.