By Ninette Cheng
Northwest Asian Weekly
Fall is shaping up to be a season of new beginnings for Asian American celebrities, and personally, I am very excited for them. This month, Yao Ming announced his return to basketball, while Tiger Woods announced his, well, single status. Ziyi Zhang plans to star in a Mulan remake. Finally, I give an update on Asians on the big and small screen.
Yao is back!
Last season, I announced that NBA star Yao Ming suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Doctors were not sure how long he would be out. Thankfully, he will back for the 2010-2011 season. However, the road to recovery is not over for the basketball star. The Houston Chronicle reports that Yao will begin each day with 45 minutes of massage, followed by 45 minutes of strength and rehab work. He will then warm up for 15-30 minutes before doing 60-90 minutes of individual skill work. Good luck, Yao!
Ziyi Zhang as Mulan
Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang is reportedly set to star in and produce a live-action version of Chinese legend Mulan. The film, produced by the Weinstein Company, will tell the story of a woman who disguises herself as a man to join the Chinese army.
Here’s hoping that this is not another Asian story told in a Westernized version with a bunch of non-Asian actors. Let’s see Asian actors play Asian characters!
Asian movie and television watch
This summer and fall have been and will be fantastic for Asian actors.
Ken Jeong of “The Hangover” finished the summer off in “Vampires Suck,” a low-budget spoof of “Twilight.” The comedy surprisingly opened at number 2, much higher than I expected.
I can’t say I’m in a hurry to see it, though.
In October, Brenda Song will co-star in “The Social Network,” one of the season’s most-anticipated films. The film includes an ensemble cast, with Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones, Max Minghella, Rooney Mara, Malese Jow, and Joseph Mazello. The film tells the story of Facebook, easily one of the most popular websites. The movie has been put on a number of published lists, including the Los Angeles Times’ Oscar watch. I am excited. I feel like there’s a fascinating story to be told on Oct. 1.
Looking forward to the big screen
“Parks and Recreation” writer Alan Yang has signed a two-year deal to develop projects for Universal Media Studios. Thanks to the successful television show, Yang was named by Variety magazine last year as one of 10 screenwriters to watch. Good luck!
I’ve been mentioning fall’s television line-ups all summer, so I won’t delve into the details again, but here are some highlights:
Comcast recently reported that in a survey of 1,000 television viewers, “Hawaii Five-O” ranked as the most anticipated show of the new fall television season. I announced before that Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park would be starring in the series. In addition, Heroes’ Masi Oka has been added to the cast. The remake premiered on Sept. 20.
Jenna Ushkowitz returned to television along with new guest star, Charice, in “Glee” on Sept. 21.
See you next month for more updates! ♦
Ninette Cheng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.