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Ang Lee returns to Taiwan before starting work on TV series

2013/05/06 13:55:51

Ang Lee (right) and wife at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport

Taipei, May 6 (CNA) Oscar-winning director Ang Lee returned to Taiwan early Monday to give encouragement to the local film industry.

Upon arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, he told reporters he was honored to return home at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture to help promote Taiwan's film industry.

"The ultimate purpose of my current visit is to cheer on our movie industry," said Lee, who won his second Academy Award for best director in February with his 3-D shipwreck epic "Life of Pi."

The Taiwan-born, New York-based filmmaker said he will appear on two talk shows, including one to be organized by the culture ministry, and take part in several other similar activities while in Taiwan.

"I'll also spend time with my mother and wish her a Happy Mother's Day this Sunday," Lee said, adding that he will stay until May 12.

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 United States 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, according to Lee, who noted that a TV series typically runs 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 U.S. cable channel FX in the Fox television network, tells the story of an American 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 United States, according to Lee.

Meanwhile, he said he has decided not to accept an offer to work on the Hollywood movie Cleopatra, in which Angelina Jolie plays the queen of Egypt.

On superstar Will Smith's recent comment in Taipei that he would like to act in an Ang Lee film, the director said he would be pleased to work with Smith if there is a good and interesting script.

During his stay in Taiwan, Lee is expected to make suggestions about documentary production, at a culture ministry news conference on May 9.

The following day, he is scheduled to appear on a talk show with Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai to discuss the topic "My Time and I".

Lee's discussions with Lung, a noted essayist, will be broadcast live online and on Public Television Service with a live audience, the culture ministry said last Friday.

On May 12, Lee will appear on another talk show with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-pin, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu and TV hostess Sisy Chen, which will be broadcast live on the cable news channel CtiTV.

(By Pien Chin-feng and Sofia Wu)
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