Hong Kong stars Andy Lau and Tony Leung along with Japanese star Ken Watanabe have joined the dream cast of John Woo's latest epic The War of Red Cliff.
They follow Chinese mainland actress Zhang Jingchu and award-winning director Gu Changwei.
Andy Lau is in discussion to play Zhou Yu, a general of warlord Sun Quan.
Ken Watanabe will play Cao Cao, the northern warlord chased by Liu Bei, played by Chow Yun-Fat, to the south. Tony Leung will play Zhuge Liang, a strategist and the closes advisor to Liu Bei, who helped Liu to combine forces with the southern warlord Sun Quan to defeat Cao's army with a decisive battle in Red Cliff.
Japanese actor Ken Watanabe has starred in three Hollywood productions, including The Last Samurai, Batman Begins and the upcoming Memoirs of a Geisha, which have made him shine internationally.
Screenwriter Zou Jingzhi has completed the third draft of the script, which still must get John Woo's final approval.
(CRI July 27, 2005)