HONG KONG (AP) -- Zhang Yimou has started shooting a remake of the Coen brothers' debut "Blood Simple," the Chinese director's first film since designing the opening and closing ceremonies of last year's Beijing Olympics, a publicist said Tuesday.
Filming on the Chinese-language film "San Qiang Pai An Jing Qi" — which roughly translates as "The Stunning Case of the Three Gun Shots" — kicked off on June 9, Ping Xue, a publicist at Zhang's Beijing New Picture Film Co., told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Beijing.
The thriller-comedy, which will be released this year, stars Chinese actor Sun Honglei, comedian Xiao Shenyang and actress Yan Ni, Ping said.
She declined to reveal the plot of the film, but "Blood Simple" is about a Texas bar owner who hires a private detective to kill his wife and her lover. The 1984 movie starring Frances McDormand won the Grand Jury Prize for best film at the United States Film Festival — the predecessor to the Sundance Film Festival — helping establish Joel and Ethan Coen's reputations.
The brothers went on to make a string of successful films including "Fargo," "The Big Lebowski," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "No Country for Old Men," which won Oscars for best picture and best director.
The "Blood Simple" remake also marks Zhang's first movie since the 2006 imperial court drama "Curse of the Golden Flower," starring Chow Yun-fat and Gong Li. After that film, Zhang took a break to focus on the Beijing Olympics ceremonies.
Zhang's stunning opening ceremony — which featured a retired Chinese gymnast who seemingly ran around the rim of the stadium while suspended by wires before lighting the Olympic cauldron — won a Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.
The Chinese director is also scheduled to direct a gala celebrating the 60th anniversary of communist China on Oct. 1.
Zhang's credits also include "Raise the Red Lantern," "Red Sorghum," "To Live," "Ju Dou," "Hero" and the "House of Flying Daggers."
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