Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (李安) returned to Taiwan early yesterday at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture to help promote the local film industry.
“The ultimate purpose of my current visit is to cheer on our movie industry,” Lee told reporters waiting at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
The New York-based filmmaker won his second Academy Award for best director in February with his shipwreck epic Life of Pi.
He said he would appear on two talk shows, including one organized by the ministry, and take part in several other similar activities.
“I’ll also spend time with my mother and wish her a happy Mother’s Day this Sunday,” Lee said, adding that he would leave on Sunday.
Lee, who shot more than 70 percent of Life of Pi in Taiwan, said he is now working on the pilot of a TV series, Tyrant, which is scheduled to premiere in the US next summer.
“I have received many scripts in recent months, but I have turned down all of them, except for this TV series,” he said.
Shooting may start in August or September, he said, adding that a TV series in the US could run for five to seven years.
“I’m a novice in TV series production; it provides a fresh experience,” he said. “In film production, I have full control, but in this TV series, I’m just doing the pilot project, setting the plot, cast and tone of the series.”
Tyrant, to be produced for US cable channel FX in the Fox TV network, tells the story of a US family that finds itself immersed in the political problems of a country beset by riots in the Middle East.
The TV series will be shot in the Middle East, not in the US, he said.
Lee said he decided not to accept an offer to work on Cleopatra with Angelina Jolie as the queen of Egypt.
During his stay, Lee is expected to make suggestions about documentary production at a culture ministry news conference on Thursday.
He is scheduled to appear on a talk show with Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) on Friday to discuss the topic “My Time and I.”
The show will be broadcast live online and on Public Television Service with a live audience, the ministry said on Friday last week.
On Sunday, he will join Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) and TV hostess Sisy Chen (陳文茜) for another talk show, which will be broadcast live on the cable news channel CtiTV.