With diversity being a major topic in the film industry lately, Universal Pictures has moved forward with their cross-cultural comedy East/West. Zhang Ziyi, the popular Chinese actress has been cast as the lead, forming the speculation of an eastern upbringing adapting to a western world. Television vet Jason Winer (Life in Pieces, Modern Family) will direct while Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner will pen the screenplay.
Producing the film will be Tory Metzger and David Linde along with the director and lead actress. Zhang and Linde have worked together before on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the film that upstarted the career of the young Asian star. The Ang Lee martial arts epic earned the actress an international following, as well as BAFTA nomination and an Independent Spirit Award. Zhang also notably starred in Rob Marshall’s Oscar winning 2005 drama Memoirs of a Geisha, for which she earned a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nomination. She also appeared in Zhang Yimou’s acclaimed House of Flying Daggers and Wong Kar Wei’s romantic epic 2046.
This is not Zhang’s first time starring in an American made comedy. She played a prominent role in the 2001 action-comedy Rush Hour 2 alongside Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.