Mei Lanfang in his early ages [file photo: baidu.com]
Renowned Chinese director Chen Kaige's new film biography of Peking opera legend Mei Lanfang will begin shooting Beijing and Shanghai in May.
A lot of the important scenes for the movie "Mei Lanfang" will be shot in a replica of the old Jixiang Theatre, which will be constructed in a studio inside the Beijing Film Studios.
Many prominent Peking operas stars, including Mei Lanfang, Yu Shuyan and Yang Xiaolou, performed at the original Jixiang Theatre, which was built in 1906.
Mei Lanfang's son Mei Baojiu says he has compiled comprehensive biographical information about his father for the director, including pictures, records and archival film footage.
No actor has yet been selected to play Mei Lanfang, though Chen Kaige is rumored to have discussed the role with Taiwan pop star Leehom Wong and Hong Kong veteran singer Leon Lai.
Mei Lanfang was the first artist to win widespread international recognition by performing the Peking Opera to an overseas audience. Over the course of his career, he added his own flair to traditional characters, shaping a style of his own and forming "The Mei Lanfang School".