September 06, 2006



Everyone's favorite Hong Kong actress* is busily at work on Danny Boyle's SUNSHINE, but afterwards will she return to Hong Kong and make the crummy special effects dreck that we've gotten used to from her? Will the world have to collectively pretend to get excited over, and then totally ignore, THE TOUCH 2 or SILVERHAWK: THE RETURN? Actually, no.

TRUE NORTH is the next film from Asif Kapadia (THE WARRIOR) and it's got Celluloid Dreams attached and Sean Bean and Michelle Yeoh set to star. Set in Norway, the third banana in the cast, Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan, says the movie will be about the relationship between two women, one of whom we have to assume is Sean Bean.

Then, according to French news sites, Ms. Yeoh will star in a sci fi film, BABYLON AD, with Vincent Cassel and Vin Diesel. Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, the movie is based on the novel "Babylon Babies" about a young woman carrying a genetically modified fetus that's supposedly the next messiah being escorted from Russia to Canada. Yeoh will play "Sister Helen".

(Thanks to the sharp-eyed reader who sent this in)
(*if you care about Hong Kong and Chinese movies then you just automatically have to like the HEROIC TRIO three: Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Cheung and Anita Mui. Even if your personal tastes run in another direction, you must acknowledge that these three actresses are like goddesses in the Chinese movie pantheon and that Michelle Yeoh, with her butt-kicking big sister vibe, is some kind of modern day saint just waiting for the right religion to come along and worship her. She'll accept our hymns of praise in the meantime.)

September 6, 2006 at 12:33 PM in News | Permalink


Its worth noting that Sunshine(British), Babylon AD(French/American, mostly French though), and now True North(dunno but almost certainly British) are all European productions.

As a 40-plus-er she's got no future in American starring roles (to be fair, hardly any actresses get work past 40 in America), and her last HK films bombed so very hard that any sane investor would be gunshy about pulling the trigger on another vehicle for her. Her days of headlining films are probably over, and she will have to settle for being the 'exotic co-star' of many films to come.

Which is a shame because even though Silver Hawk was legitimately terrible, she was still good in it. Heck, she's still pretty dang great at that whole acrobatic butt-kicking thing she does and she's still got more acting range then almost any action film star you care to mention. I hope she can mount a comeback someday, but realistically, there isn't that much out there for her.

Posted by: Max K. | Sep 6, 2006 8:47:37 PM

I always figured Michelle Yeoh was peculiar if you know what I mean. Surprise no one has caught on to it.

Posted by: Dana | Sep 7, 2006 5:41:49 AM

I'll join that religion.

My favorite MIchelle Yeoh story is from the junket for Memoirs of a Geisha... the journalists (probably around 40) were in this room with a HUGE long table, and Michelle was the first interview of the day. She walked in and went around the entire room shaking hands and getting introduction to every single journalist. Of course, by the time she got all the way around the table, there wasn't enough time for her to say much, but I don't think anyone minded. Yeoh can keep making crappy HK movies as long as she wants if it means us seeing her in more than one movie a year. (Still bummed that The Touch never came out here.)

Posted by: EDouglas | Sep 7, 2006 6:19:51 AM

Dana made some super valid points.

Another problem is that Michelle is a action actress (probably the best of all time), but she's Asian.

Asian cultures are always chasing after white people's acceptance and not embracing their own extraordinary talents.

See, if a white person can't perform Hung-Gar or handle a Tai-chi sword, then they look down on those who have the talent to do so.

When white people look down on something, Asian people follow suit and do the same thing instead of being themselves.

I recently heard Maggie Chung badmouthing Nicole Kidman.
And therein lies the problem.

Michelle, Zhang, Maggie and all of the HK foxes wish for the acceptance of whites. They want to be treated like white starlets.

It's not gonna happen. There's no need to aspire to be something you're not. Especially when you can command an action scene.
No one is gonna see Zhang in her little drama roles. She's never gonna headline a hit here in the states.
UNLESS, UNLESSS, it's an action film.

Michelle, Zhang, Kara Hui all of these women perform action scenes on camera that no other women in history have done. And people will pay good money to see it.
No one is paying to see them cry.

Imagine Arnold Schwarzanegger in his prime stopping action and trying to do lion dances. Or stopping and attempting to do hard drama. It would never happen.

No one wants to see that.
No one wants to see Michael Jordan conduct and orchestra. No matter how good he is at it.

Embrace what you are and do what you do naturally. And do it good.
She wasting her abilities trying to be white. Do Kung-fu.

Hopefully it's not too late to get her in Yuen Woo-Ping's Great Wall. Or even Lau Kar-Leung's Shaolin Heroes.

She's the biggest female action star in the world.
I hope she starts acting like it.
Cuz Nicole Kidman wouldn't know what to do if we put a spear in her hand and dropped in the middle of a scene with the axe gang.


Posted by: Jela Perry | Sep 7, 2006 10:56:43 AM

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