Rumored, Cancelled, Declined Projects


In January 2016, Deadline reported that Ziyi would star in an American comedy called East/West, with Jason Winer attached to direct.

Universal Pictures has set up East/West, a cross-cultural comedy vehicle for Chinese superstar Zhang Ziyi. The film will be directed by Jason Winer, and Ethan Sandler & Adrian Wenner will write the script. Tory Metzger and David Linde will produce along with Winer, Zhang and Ling Lucas. The scribes’ credits include We Hate Paul Revere and New Girl. Linde teamed with the actress on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

However, nobody has heard from that project since.

Who Is God

In October 2015, Korean director Kim Ki-duk announed he was preparing a film in China, with in mind Ziyi or Gong Li for the title role. It is very likely that Ziyi simply declined the offer.

A $30 million war epic that marks the director’s crossover to big-budget filmmaking and virtual retirement from the Korean film industry.

For his Chinese project, however, he is willing to cater to a wider range of audiences by toning things down from the script level.

“I am willing to alter the content of my film for the Chinese audience,” Kim was quoted as saying when asked about how Chinese censors might react to the strong adult themes of his films, according to Chinese media, during a press event in Beijing on Sept. 27 for Who Is God.

Kim has been working on the script of Who Is God for about 10 years. It is a period battle piece set in ancient times when a religious war ensues due to the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia. “There are many Hollywood movies about the Crusade and other religious conflicts, and I imagined something similar may have occurred in Asia as well as Buddhism crossed Indian borders,” said the filmmaker.

China’s JSNH Film will handle the production. The script is currently being reviewed by Chinese authorities, Kim Soon-mo, producer of the director’s production company Kim Ki-duk Films, told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s possible that the script may be altered as we heard is common in China. Censorship issues are something we need to work with,” said the producer.

Hollywood Reporter

Shortly before the shooting started in August 2016, the director was denied Visa to China.

Untitled Lee Chang-Dong Movie

After expressing her wish to work with Lee Chang-Dong in 2013, Ziyi was rumored to star in the director’s next film. The South Korean thriller would star Won Bin as a serial killer and Ziyi as a chinese prostitute. However, the movie was later cancelled by the director himself.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2

In August 2013, various sources confirmed that Ziyi was in talks to reprise her role in the sequel of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in a cameo.

Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang is in talks to reprise her role as badass warrior apprentice Jen Yu in the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which will begin shooting in March 2014. A source close to the film says Zhang’s part would be shot as flashbacks to explain what happened to her character.

However, the filming took place in 2014, but without Ziyi on the set.

The Great Wall

In June 2012, Ziyi was cast in the next Edward Zwick project The Great Wall starring Henry Cavill and Benjamin Walker. Production was originally slated to get underway in fall 2012, but was delayed to spring 2013 to avoid any complications due to the bad weather in China and New Zealand. Unfortunately, Ed Zwick left the project in september 2012. The filming finally began without Ziyi in 2015 and with Zhang Yimou directing.

Under Heaven

In May 2012, Ziyi was set to star and produce the adaptation of Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven, according to sources. Guy Gavriel Ray wanted Ziyi in the character of Wei Song.

A development agreement has been entered into between author Guy Gavriel Kay and actress Zhang Ziyi and her management company and production partners Mosaic Productions, with respect to Kay’s most recent novel Under Heaven. Zhang Ziyi is attached to star and produce.

Still no director are attached to the project.

Hua Mulan

The project to bring to life a live-action adaptation of the story of Mulan was first planned in 2002 with Michelle Yeoh as Mulan. Meanwhile, Stanley Tong wanted to make another version of the film with Ziyi, which was denied by Tong and Ziyi. Ziyi was actually eyeing a deal with the Weinstein Company consisting of three films, one was an adaptation of Hua Mulan. The project seemed very interesting when it was announed (in 2007) that the script would be penned by Wang Hui-Ling, and Johnnie To or Tsui Hark on the director side. Michelle Yeoh was rumored to play an important part as well. Ths was later denied, Both Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh were only rumored to star. In 2009, Jingle Ma adapted the story with Zhao Wei in the leading role. In 2010-2011, Ziyi began working on a new version of Hua Mulan in a 3D adaptation with Jan de Boot directing. A few days before filming, the production was postponed due to budget issues. Since this, nothing happened. The production was probably cancelled.

Lin Huiyin

In June 2010, Ziyi signed to play chinese architect-writer Lin Huiyin according to Xinhua.

Zhang Ziyi’s next character will be Lin Huiyin, the first female architect in modern China, the Qilu Evening News reports.

The newspaper quoted Dong Zhaohui, whose company, Joy Media, is investing in the film “Lin Huiyin”, as saying that Zhang has been cast as Lin and filming is scheduled to begin later this year.

Lin Huiyin (1904-1955), has been widely adored in China for her beauty and achievements in architecture and literature. She ranked first in a survey last year on modern China’s most beautiful women. (Zhang Ziyi is the 12th.) Lin and her husband Liang Sicheng were involved in the design of China’s national emblem, as well as the Monument to the People’s Heroes that now stands in the heart of Beijing’s Tian’anmen Square. Award-winning Chinese-American architect Maya Lin is Huiyin’s niece.

Outside of her professional achievements, Lin Huiyin was also known for her friendship with poet Xu Zhimo, who was romantically attracted to Lin.

In the film, Ethan Ruan (“Monga”) will play Xu, and Chang Chen (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) will play Lin’s husband, Liang.

However, there were no news for this project after Summer 2010 and according to some reports, Ziyi never got contacted to play that part.


Reported by Variety in August 2007, the adaptation of Ha Jin’s Waiting that was supposed to star Chow-Yun Fat and Maggie Cheung was now back on track with Ziyi and Takeshi Kaneshiro for the lead roles. Director Peter Chan was supposed to begin production right after he finished The Warlords. In 2011, the project is still in development with Liu Ye, Zhou Xun and Fan Bingbing rumored to star.

White Deer Plain

In March 2010, Wang Quan’an was searching for a lead actress in his next film White Deer Plain. Fan Bingbing, Hu Jing, Zhang Jingchu and Zhang Ziyi were among the actresses rumoured to be up for the role. The filming began in September 2010 with Zhang Yuqi in the lead role.

The Lady Generals of the Yang Family

Reported by Channel News Asia in March 2010, Ronny expressed his wish to bring together Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Zhou Xun, Tang Wei and Ziyi in his project The Lady Generals of the Yang Family.

Director Ronnie Yu will bring together top Asian actresses Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi, Zhou Xun, Tang Wei and Michelle Yeoh for his upcoming film “The Lady Generals of the Yang Family”, said Hong Kong media reports.

Gong, Zhang, Zhou and Tang’s roles have been fixed but Yeoh’s role remains a mystery.

The film is reportedly funded by Orange Sky Golden Harvest Holdings Ltd and Japanese entertainment giant AVEX. It will cost $US 20 million to produce and will be Yu’s first Mandarin film since his 2006 collaboration with Jet Li in “Fearless”.

Oscar-winning Japanese costume designer, Emi Wada, has also been roped in to create the costumes for the film.

“The Lady Generals of the Yang Family” tells of how the women from the Yang family of Song dynasty stepped onto the battlefield to avenge the deaths of their warriors husbands, who died while fighting the invading Xia army after being sold out by a traitorous Song official.

The story will reportedly depart significantly from the series of novels it is based on and does not focus too much on the themes of loyalty. Instead, it will focus on the heroism of the titular Lady Generals.

Interestingly, this is the first time Gong, who turns 45 this year, has agreed to play a character much older than her actual age. The film will also mark the second time she is working alongside Yeoh and Zhang after 2005’s “Memoirs of a Geisha”.

According to a spokeswoman from Orange Sky, the film is slated to begin production in May.

The production actually never began. Ronny Yu released in 2013 a movie that seemed very similar, Saving General Yang, that was focusing on Yang family.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

In November 2009, It was announced that Ziyi would star and produce in an adaptation of Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan with Wayne Wang attached to direct.

BEIJING, Nov. 6 — The domestic success of her first film as producer has pushed Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi to target a wider audience with her next project.

Zhang is working with her friends Wendi Murdoch and Florence Sloan to produce the English-language film “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”, according to

The actress will also star in the film, which will be directed by Chinese-American filmmaker Wayne Wang, who also did “Maid in Manhattan”.

Set in 19th-century China, the film is based on Lisa See’s novel of the same name about a lifelong friendship between two women.

Shooting is slated to begin early next year in China.

Shu Qi was approched to play the lead with Ziyi but declined the offer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the filming was supposed to start in early 2010, but the actress quit the project before filming to focus on The Grandmaster.

BEIJING: Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, the female lead and a producer of the upcoming film “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”, has pulled out of the project to focus on filming martial arts movie “The Grand Master”, reported Chinese media.

According to reports, Zhang’s publicist Ji Lingling revealed this surprising news on Wednesday. Ji explained that Zhang was unable to juggle acting in Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grand Master”, which is currently being filmed in northeastern China, with her role in “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”.

Zhang is not the only one pulling out: Korean actress Jeon Ji Hyun, who is slated to co-star with Zhang, and the male lead, said to be a member of the now defunct Taiwanese band F4, have also quit the project.

The production team is considering casting Chinese actresses Li Bingbing, Fan Bingbing and Hong Kong actress Shu Qi as replacements. They have also begun actively searching for a new leading man in China, Japan and Korea.

“Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”, an English-language film adaptation of Lisa See’s novel of the same name, about the lifelong friendship between two women in 19th century China, was scheduled to begin production earlier this month but has been delayed for unspecified reasons.

The film, helmed by American-Chinese director Wayne Wang, would have been Zhang’s second as a film producer. The 30-year-old actress produced her first film, the romantic comedy “Sophie’s Revenge”, last year.

Zhang’s decision to quit the “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” has sparked fresh rumours that it was the result of the fallout from her high-profile dispute with a Beijing publication. Zhang had sued the publication for publishing an article which portrayed her as a homewrecker.

Ji insists that this was not the case.

“She’s been very busy with Wong Kar-Wai’s film… Although Ziyi won’t work with director Wayne Wang this time, they will have another project together in the near future,” said Ji.

– CNA/ha

Ziyi was later replaced by Li Bingbing.


In the end of 2009, Ziyi was approched to play in the next Stanley Tong project Pioneer. Donnie Yen, Song Hye Kyo and Wentworth Miller would play opposite Ziyi. At the moment, the script was not completed and that’s the reason Ziyi didn’t give an answer yet. Maybe, the script was never completed.

Lost for Words

During the summer of 2008, Ziyi was attached to star in Susanne Bier’s Lost for Words with Hugh Grant. Citing creative differences, Hugh Grant left the project some months after. He was later replaced by Tom Cruise.

BEIJING, Feb. 22 — The stalled production of the Hollywood romantic comedy “Lost for Words” might get a jumpstart with the possible addition of Tom Cruise to the cast.

Universal Pictures, which is producing the film, reportedly invited the Hollywood star to step in as the lead to fill the vacancy left by British actor Hugh Grant, according to leading U.S. showbiz magazine “Variety.”

Grant quit the project last October after a disagreement about the screenplay with Richard Curtis, his longtime partner in previous films and the producer of “Lost for Words.” After Grant’s departure, Zhang Ziyi, the lead actress in the film, returned to China to shoot another film.

According to media reports, Universal is currently contacting Tom Cruise on the contract.

“Lost for Words” is about a love triangle in which a Hollywood actor falls for his Chinese director after romancing her translator during their making of a film. Susanne Bier, the Danish filmmaker and former Oscar nominee, will direct the movie.

Source : xinhua
The filming was scheduled for September 2008, but it’s very likely that the project was cancelled.


Back in 2007-2008, it was rumored that Ziyi would play the empress Wu Zetian in a film adaptation of the novel by Shan Sa. Ridley Scott was attached to direct with Ziyi also co-producing. Reported first by Sina, it was first announed in the end of 2007, but it became very likely when Ziyi expressed her wish to act and produce the project by establishing a film studio with Wendi Deng. Ji Lingling, Zhang’s publicist, carefully said about the project, “There are always many plans, but I can’t say anything before everything is finalized.” Since these news in March 2008, there was no developments for this film.

The Warrior’s Way

In April 2007, Ziyi was confirmed to play alongside Jang Dong-gun in The Warrior’s Way, then known as Laundry Warrior, with Korean director Lee Seungmoo on board.

Actor Jang Dong-gun and world-renowned star Zhang Ziyi will debut in Hollywood through the fantasy movie “Laundry Warrior” (“The Warrior’s Way”). Directed by Sngmoo Lee, “Laundry Warrior” (“The Warrior’s Way”) is a joint project of South Korea, China and the United States.

It will be produced by Boram Film, which has also produced other joint projects such as “Seven Swords” and “A Battle of Wits”, with the participation of Barrie Osborn, who also produced the “Matrix” series and “The Lord of the Rings”.


Ziyi later quit the project because of scheduling conflicts. She was replaced by Kate Bosworth.