Director Ang Lee has been busy searching for the right female lead for his new project Lust, Caution. Taiwan youth idol and popular TV host Barbie Xu has reportedly caught the eye of the casting team, according to a report from Chinese portal Sina.com.
The film's executive director Khan Lee said Barbie Xu left a deep impression at the video audition, but the leading role has not yet been given the nod from general director Ang Lee, Khan Lee's brother.
Zhang Ziyi, who was previously reported to be taking the female lead, is off the cast member list. The report says she is too old for the college student role.
Chinese veteran actor Ge You has been confirmed to play the male leading role, a puppet government official and the target of an assassination plot.
Lust, Caution, set in World War II Shanghai, is an adaptation of a short story by famed late Chinese novelist Eileen Chang.
The movie will be made in Chinese, marking Lee's return to Chinese-language cinema after making The Hulk and Brokeback Mountain, which won him a Best Director Oscar this year.
The film also reunites Ang Lee with Brokeback distributor Focus Features and his longtime collaborator, Focus CEO James Schamus, who will executive produce.
(CRI June 7, 2006)