Fri, Mar 10, 2006 - Page 17 News List

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The grandson of a famous Chinese kung fu master is suing the producers and distributors of Jet Li's latest film, Fearless, for defaming his illustrious ancestor, Chinese state media have said.

The movie portrays Huo Yuanjia, born in 1868 and one of China's most accomplished martial arts heroes, but takes too much artistic licence, his grandson charges, Xinhua news agency said.

Huo Shoujin, Huo Yuanjia's only surviving grandson on the Chinese mainland, said the film contains "fabrications of his grandfather's life and character and it besmirches his reputation," according to Xinhua.

Huo is asking for an end to the worldwide release of the film and a written public apology, Xinhua said. He filed a lawsuit at the Haidian District People's Court in Beijing on Tuesday, according to the agency.

The defendants include Beijing Film Studio under the China Film Group Corporation, the producer of the film, and Beijing-based Anle Film Company, the distributor, Xinhua said.

Cyrus Man, marketing executive at Hong Kong-based distributor Edko Films, which has also been sued according to Hong Kong media, said the family so far had not contacted his firm.

"When we first made the movie, we hoped to bring a message to today's youth about self-strengthening and encourage them to never give up," he said, declining to comment specifically on the court case.

"We mentioned at the end of the film it's a fictitious story."

Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes and Sienna Miller are set to appear in the movie version of the best selling novel Stardust, the trade magazine Variety reported Tuesday.

The movie, which also stars Charlie Cox, is to be filmed in Iceland and Britain starting in April by director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake).

The movie, based on a fantasy novel Neil Gaiman, tell the story of a young man that travels to an enchanted world searching for a shooting star in order to win the heart of the woman he loves.

The last time John Travolta appeared in a musical it was alongside Olivia Newton John as the smooth-operating matinee idol Danny in Grease, the most successful movie musical of all time.

Twenty-eight years later, the Hollywood star is going back to his toe-tapping roots to take on the role of Edna Turnblad in a new film version of Hairspray.

Due for release next year, the film will star Travolta in a role immortalised in the original film by the late transvestite actor Divine.

Edna is the downtrodden mother of the film's heroine, aspiring dancer Tracy Turnblad, who has yet to be cast. The producers of the film say they are looking for a newcomer to play the role. But Queen Latifah, who was nominated for a golden globe and oscar for her role in the musical Chicago, has been chosen to play the civil rights activist and dance show host Motormouth Maybelle.

"It's long been a desire of ours to work with John Travolta and to have the opportunity to produce his return to movie musicals after three decades," said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron in a statement.

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