Aaron Kwok, Zhang Ziyi to play AIDS couple

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Hong Kong actor Aaron Kwok

Hong Kong actor Aaron Kwok [CRI]

Zhang Ziyi and Hong Kong actor Aaron Kwok will play a couple suffering from AIDS in director Gu Changwei's first-ever feature film tackling the issue, entitled "The Era of Magic."

Aaron Kwok was spotted on the set in Beijing Tuesday with a bearded and weary look, the Beijing News reports.

The film, adapted from a novel, tells a tragic love story between two AIDS-afflicted lovers. Kwok plays a primary school teacher who is sent from the city to teach in the countryside, but contracts AIDS and develops a crush on Zhang Ziyi's character, also an AIDS patient.

Director Gu Changwei insists Zhang Ziyi as the right actress for the lead, despite her recent embroilment in a slew of scandals about her personal life and alleged donation fraud.

Gu thinks the internationally famous Zhang will ensure a box office cache for the upcoming film.

Reportedly, award-winning actress Jiang Wenli, wife of director Gu, was cast in a supporting role.

Other big names joining the cast for very little pay include Pu Cunxin, Cai Guoqing, Li Xuejian and Li Danyang - all ambassadors of an anti-AIDS public campaign, the paper says, citing unnamed sources.

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