Oct 24: Thanks to Maria for the tip on a Los Angeles Times blog item. Patrick Goldstein spoke with Harvey Weinstein about the status of The Weinstein Company's films, and he confirmed that �Shanghai� will not be released this year: "It just couldn't be ready in time. The movie wasn't finished shooting until August and the director, Mikael Hafstrom, doesn't even deliver his cut until early November. He doesn't want it out now and neither do we. He needs time to make it as great as possible."
Oct 23: According to a report in Variety tonight, Chris Columbus is in negotiations to direct �Ripley�s Believe It Or Not�. Tim Burton had dropped out when Paramount put the project on hold some time ago. As I posted previously, I asked Christophe Tseng, Gong Li�s manager, about her continued involvement, as she had been listed on the production company's website as starring in the film with Jim Carrey. Tseng told me in mid-July that there hadn't been any progress on the film at that time, and since the director would be changed, they wouldn't comment on it. If "the China-based storyline will be scrapped" [thrown out], according to the Variety report, then will the character to which Gong Li was attached still be included in the new script? It seems unlikely.
Oct 21: Guy Lodge of InContention.com includes Gong Li on his list of "Top 10 actors who need a nomination, stat!": "I've gathered 10 men and women for whom it's not too late. All are fine, actively working actors who should have at least one - usually more - Oscar nominations by now, but thus far, the Academy has turned a blind eye. Wake up, guys... 6. Gong Li -- One of the great faces of modern cinema, Gong was instrumental in bringing Chinese cinema to Western attention in the early 1990s. However, while festival juries and the likes of the New York critics responded to her haunting star turns in such masterworks as 'Raise the Red Lantern', 'The Story of Qiu Ju' and 'Farewell My Concubine', Oscar voters couldn�t look past the subtitles. After crossing over to Hollywood with a spectacular performance in 'Memoirs of a Geisha', Oscar attention finally seemed to beckon, but her campaign got derailed amid the film's critical mauling. Shame."
Oct 10: A interview with "Shanghai" co-star John Cusack was published in The Independent (UK) newspaper today, although the interview took place earlier this year while the movie was in production in England. Cusack spoke about one of the scenes he had been filming: "There's a gunfight in the rain. The shoot-out has four characters who all have to cut deals with each other, and also have to reveal who they are before they have the shoot-out. My relationship with Anna [Gong Li] is revealed in front of her husband. The Japanese and Chinese warlords have to face each other and it's a great acting sequence, especially when working with these actors. It's as good as it gets... I think the politics of the time force the characters to lie to each other and deceive each other. Politics affect human relationships in a complex political environment, even when the film is not about those issues. The sad part is that the characters are forced to have so many different agendas to protect themselves."
From the "Indie Jones" column on FantasyMoguls.com: "Expect me to be here with a special column, possibly dealing with this fall's films. I'm sure I have things to write about them. For example, did you know there is a Gong Li film opening for Christmas? You know I'll write about that one in the near future, don't you?"