Chinese actress Gong Li will take the lead role in the Chinese-U.S. joint production of “The Last Empress,” co-producers Seven Stars Film Studios announced on Tuesday.
The film, set in a turbulent moment in Chinese history, tells the story of Empress Cixi’s life and her complex relationships with Emperor Guang Xu and Imperial advisor American Costa, both of whom shared a desire to modernize China.
“Gong Li was our first choice to play the complex empress," Seven Stars Entertainment Group Chairman Bruno Wu said in a statement. "With Gong Li’s international appeal, we are confident the movie will excite and resonate with audiences across the world.”
The film is set to begin production at the end of 2013 and will be dedicated to the memory of Jake Eberts, whose joint venture with Seven Stars had been developing the project.