casting news: g.i. joe, dragonball, kung fu, wolverine

When I first heard that they were making a live-action G.I. Joe movie, I immediately wondered who would play Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow, my two favorite characters. As a big fan of the old 1980s cartoon/comic/toy line, this particular bit of casting was quite important. Who would play these two key enigmatic fan favorite characters? Yesterday, I got my answer. IESB.net reports that Korean actor Lee Byung-hun has been cast as Cobra ninja Storm Shadow: GI Joe Casting! Sweet. I am a fan of this guy's work. It was also announced a few days ago that Snake Eyes would be played by Ray Park (not Asian), the guy who played Darth Maul in Phantom Menace. Not a big fan of this guy as an actor, but he's a hell of a stuntman. Which works out, because everybody knows that Snake Eyes doesn't actually speak. Don't know if this is going to be any good, but at least it's getting interesting. The movie is slated to open in summer 2009.

Dragonball casting news gets weirder and weirder: Chow Yun-Fat is Master Roshi. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Chow Yun-Fat has signed on to play Master Roshi, "an ancient martial arts and a mighty, powerful warrior." Last seen sailing the high seas in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, this sounds about right for Chow Yun-Fat, considering the current trajectory of his career (making cruddy movies). And I'm pretty sure he can pull of the look—he's done the bearded thing, and the bald thing, and even the bearded bald thing. Master Roshi should be no problem. Still, I'm not convinced that this movie is going to be any good.

According to the Chinese site Crienglish.com, director Max Makowski is hoping veteran Hong Kong actor Francis Ng will star in the upcoming movie remake of the 1970s TV series Kung Fu: Director Eyes Francis Ng for "Kung Fu" Remake. Makkowski recently held an audition in Hong Kong to search for the new Kwai Chang Caine. He told the media, "I hope Francis can join the cast, and I will give him an important role. But it is the film company's decision." I don't know if that means he wants Ng to play Caine, or another big role in the movie. Though I'm only familiar with a few of his films, it would be an interesting choice.

And finally, this news is a couple of weeks old, but I guess worth mentioning... It's been rumored that Maggie Q will play the character of Silver Fox in the upcoming Wolverine movie—a solo spinoff for the popular X-Men character: Maggie Q As Silver Fox In 'Wolverine?' As fans of the comic books know, Silver Fox one of the major characters in Wolverine's mythology. Fine. Maggie Q seems to be the go-to actress these days to fill hot Asian lady roles. I guess I'll take that over Bai Ling any day.

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