Zhang Yimou embarks on 'Return'

Updated: 2013-09-18 10:45


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Zhang Yimou embarks on 'Return'

Chinese director Zhang Yimou attends an event in Beijing on May 28, 2013. [Photo/CFP]

BEIJING, Sept 17 -- Director Zhang Yimou has begun shooting "Gui Lai" ("Return"), his first film since splitting from his long-time filmmaking partner, Zhang Weiping.

Speaking at a launch ceremony in Beijing on Monday, Zhang Yimou expressed his hope for the film and thanked his team. He said, "I hope everyone will do their best. I hope for safe, smooth filming. I have some old friends here, people who have been working with me for many years - there are also new people. I hope together we work as a good team to make a good film. Thank you."

Zhang Yimou is working once again with actress Gong Li, who starred in his award-winning 1987 directorial debut, "Red Sorghum", and in some of the director's other best-received films, including "Raise the Red Lantern", "The Story of Qiu Ju", and "To Live".

"Return" will see the duo's first reunion in seven years.

Adapted from Yan Geling's novel, "Lu Fan Yanshi" ("The Criminal Lu Yanshi"), the film depicts an old man's emotional return to his family after decades of separation.

Actor Chen Daoming takes the lead role, while Gong Li plays his wife.

In the original novel, the young wife has to bear an arranged marriage and her husband's deliberate ignorance; when she is aging, she has to bear her husband's long, forced absence.

Gong Li spoke of her role on Monday, saying in modesty, "It's a very, very hard character to flesh out. If I ace it this time, I'll call myself a really good actress."

Le Vision Pictures has invested in the film and is producing the work. The company signed Zhang Yimou as its artistic director in May.

This followed news reports that suggested Zhang Yimou had left his long-time filmmaking partner Zhang Weiping, who had been his investor, producer and distributor for 16 years.


Zhang Yimou embarks on 'Return'

Zhang Yimou embarks on 'Return'

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