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China's Zhang Ziyi signs 3-movie Hollywood deal

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, June 6 (Reuters) Zhang Ziyi, the Chinese star of ''Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'' and ''Memoirs of a Geisha'', has signed a three-picture deal with Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, state media said.

Zhang, 27, confirmed that she would star in three movies including a film about Chinese folk heroine, Hua Mulan, and a remake of the Japanese classic ''The Seven Samurai'', Xinhua news agency said in a report late yesterday.

In both movies the 27-year-old would play women disguised as men, the report said.

As Mulan, she will play a young girl who goes to battle in place of her sick father. In ''Samurai'', she will play a village girl who dresses as a man to protect herself from bandits.

No details were provided on the subject of the third film.

The report said Zhang met Weinstein, a former founder of Miramax, at France's Cannes film festival last month.

The three-picture deal confirms Zhang's rise in Hollywood estimation after a string of martial arts hits and despite a lukewarm reception for her last film ''Geisha''.

Zhang's new movie ''The Banquet'', a Chinese-language costume drama directed by China's Feng Xiaogang, is due for release later this year, Xinhua said.

REUTERS CH VA KP0927

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