Chinese Actress Zhang Set for 'Geisha' Turn (...b/c of course there aren't any good Japanese actresses).
"Zhang Ziyi, who co-starred in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," is in final negotiations to play the title character in the long-in-the-works film adaptation of "Memoirs of a Geisha," while the Oscar-nominated Ken Watanabe has signed on to play the male lead."
"Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Youki Kudoh and Koji Yakusho also are in final negotiations to join the cast of the Columbia Pictures/DreamWorks/Spyglass Entertainment feature, which Rob Marshall ("Chicago") is directing."
"Yeoh would portray Mameha, the experienced geisha who becomes Sayuri's mentor, while Gong is wanted for the role of Sayuri's treacherous rival Hatsumomo." (full article here)
this is dumb. Gong Li has a very classical and beautiful face, _ideal_ for the role of Mameha. and being older (3yrs older than me even) she's a perfect fit (wasn't Gong Li just absolutely smoking in Shanghai Triad? she had the subtle glamour thing going on in The Emperor and the Assassin). i can't picture Yeoh in this role or this movie for that matter. there are plenty of Japanese vixens who would do nicely has the delightfully evil Hatsumomo. it's almost as tho they felt they needed some "star" power to sell this movie when in fact the movie will sell itself, provided they do it right. it *was* a fuggin' Best Selling Book for year, fer christsakes!
as much as i adore these actors, the casting gets a C- from me. i hope they prove me wrong.