Weinsteins order Chinese takeaway

They’re making a live-action Mulan and – gulp – a Seven Samurai redo

Forging ahead with their new film company, Harvey and Bob Weinstein are cracking on with making deals and signing stars.

But when part of their plan calls for them to remake established classic The Seven Samurai, you have to worry. Still, in better news, they’re in the middle of locking Memoirs Of A Geisha’s Zhang Ziyi into a three-film contract, with plans to make her the star of a new, live-action Mulan.

The Chinese folk story Hua Mulan, which is probably best known via the 1998 Disney cartoon, was originally shoved on to cinema screens in China in 1956. The tale – for those of you who skipped the ‘toon sing-along – follows a young woman who disguises herself as a bloke to go and fight to save her family. The Weinsteins are doubly happy that the plot for Mulan falls under that magic term “public domain” – which means it’s free…

We hope they enjoy it, because their other big announcement, remaking Akira Kurosawa’s beloved 1954 epic The Seven Samurai, will likely be met with a storm of protest. Even with Zhang Ziyi starring – since the film forms the second part of her new contract.

The third film will, for now at least, remain a mystery. But we do also know that the company is launching a DVD label, Dragon Dynasty, that will bring loads more Asian titles to the UK and the US. And not forgetting that Bob and Harv have been grabbing the rights to films like the recent Dragon Tiger Gate quicker than Jet Li can punch.

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