Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Danny Davito and Ewan McGregor are all slated for major roles in a Hollywood retelling of the Neil Haywood case, which is due to start filming in Pinewood and Chonqing this fall. So far, the only ethnic Chinese actors hire are Bert Kwouk, better known as Cato in the Pink Panther films and Jackie Chan, who will play Mao Tse Tung in the flashback scenes. The so far untitled movie wil be the first to appeal to Western and Chinese audiences.
“This is a story that has everything” said Dreamfilms CEO Tim Van der Street. “Spying, intrigue, sex, politics, mystery, violence, rock music, spicy food, espionage, dancing girls and huge wealth beyond your wildest dreams. It’s got the dramatic backdrop of the most powerful emerging nation in the world, and the intriguing case of a mysterious British man (Tom Cruise) who was permanently cremated, possibly even before he died of alleged poisoning, allegedly by the love-starved wife of a corrupt politician, who shot him to death at point blank range, in front of official CIA prostitutes awaiting the visit of Barak Obama. Obviously we’ll play down the sex scenes and turn up the volume on the kung fu component for sensitive Chinese audiences.”
Filmworks, the co-production partner in association with HBO and Universal have an option for backing from Legendary Films, who have already signed deals with Canal Plus for a seven minute closing title sequence, so people who stay to the end can find their lost car keys while listening to J-Lo, singing the yet-to-be- written theme tune by Paul McCartney.
Co-executive Producer Mike Wallis told a Santa Monica press conference: “The interest in this amazing story has been huge. As soon as someone can spell out to the writers exactly what the fuck happened and why, and we can find some more Chinese actors, we’ll make a start. There is a guy who says he can explain the whole thing, but he is still in the toilet.”