Cecilia Cheung, Tony Leung to Star in Chinese Version of 'The Illusionist' 2010-06-30 16:31:09 CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: yangliu
Hong Kong actress Cecilia Cheung will star with Tony Leung in Derek Yee's new film which will begin shooting next February, Cheung said recently in Shanghai.
When Derek Yee replied to questions from the Hong Kong press, he confirmed that this film will be Cheung's first since giving birth to her two sons in three years.
The film, entitled "Da Moshu Shi" ("Great Magician"), is a story about two childhood sweethearts set during the early part of the twentieth century. Yee had intended to keep the film a secret until it was discovered by the Guangzhou Daily. Information about the film was found on the Web site of the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT).
"Great Magician" is in line with "The Illusionist", a period drama based loosely on the Steven Millhauser story "Eisenheim the Illusionist", which was later adapted to the American big screen by Neil Burger. Actor Edward Norton starred in the film with Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti. The film tells the story of Eisenheim, a magician in early 20th century Vienna.
Derek Yee's version occurs during the same period in China. Tony Leung is set to play the role of the intelligent illusionist, while Cheung will play a concubine to a warlord.
Yee said he had been waiting for two years for Cheung to work for the film when her second pregnancy postponed the project. If the idea of contraception will be added into Cheung's contract this time, "It's useless if she gets pregnant," Yee said jokingly.
The director collaborated with Cheung in "Lost in Time", which helped her win the best actress award at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2004. And the last time Cheung and Leung worked together was in the action comedy "Tokyo Raiders" eleven years ago. "Leung is cool and gentle. I feel very lucky to have the chance to work with him again," said Cheung.
Due to the upcoming shooting schedule, Cheung said she must quickly lose weight. "The process is very painful. I have to swim, run and control my diet." She eats seldom and does not eat rice or noodles, nor does she use cooking oil in her food. It is believed that she is concerned about the influence this may have on her children because of the changes in her mood brought on by rapid weight loss.