Mystery man reshapes 'Lady of the Dynasty' film

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Shi Qing (left) with actor/director Jiang Wen. Shi, barely known to the outside world, surprises all as director of the big-budget movie Lady of the Dynasty. [Photos provided to China Daily]

Everyone wants to know: Who's Shi Qing?

The answer: "the big boss."

Few films have produced so many questions as romantic epic "Lady of the Dynasty" since the release of its directors list.

Shi has the final say over the three-person team, pared down from six, including art-house icons Jiang Wen and Gu Changwei.

Thing is, hardly anyone has heard of him.

The online rumor mill says he wrote two action thrillers in the 1980s before making "Lady of the Dynasty" his directorial debut.

The scripts he wrote were for the 1986 terrorism flick Crossing Border and the similarly themed 1989 film Code Name: Gugar.

But Shi isn't Lady's only enigma.

The 200 million yuan ($32 million) has captured Chinese headlines with the "odd" replacement of most of the original crew and leaked screen shots of a horseback sex scene.

ESA Cultural Investment producer and chairman Liu Yan recently revealed the personnel change's back story.

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