Zhang Ziyi confirms role in remake of ‘Mulan’ tale done by Disney

HONG KONG (AP) – Zhang Ziyi has confirmed she will appear in an upcoming movie revolving around Hua Mulan, the Chinese folk heroine that inspired the Disney animated film by the same name.

She told the Chinese news website Sina.com at the Venice Film Festival that " 'Hua Mulan' has basically been confirmed, but it won't be filmed quickly because it involves many factors, like the script and other actors."

The transcript of the interview was posted on Sina.com Tuesday.

Zhang also revealed that she will start filming an English-language movie at the end of the year. She did not give details.

Sina.com reported in June that Zhang has signed on for three movies to be produced by Harvey Weinstein, including a film about Hua Mulan and a remake of the Japanese classic "The Seven Samurai."

Hua Mulan is a young girl who goes to battle in place of her ailing father.

In the remake of "The Seven Samurai," Akira Kurosawa's 1954 classic, Zhang will play a village girl who dresses as a man to protect herself from bandits, Sina.com said.

Zhang, in Venice to promote her new film "The Banquet," a Chinese adaptation of "Hamlet," said she found her soliloquies in the film challenging.

"They are rare in movies. It's harder to handle these theatrical devices. It's a test for my performance," she said.

In "The Banquet," Zhang plays the equivalent of Hamlet's mother, Queen Gertrude, who marries the king's brother soon after he is murdered.

© The Canadian Press 2006

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