Gong Li to star as China’s ‘Iron Hammer’ volleyball legend

Gong Li poses on the red carpet before the screening of the film ‘The Dead Don't Die’ at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival May 14, 2019. — Reuters pic
Gong Li poses on the red carpet before the screening of the film ‘The Dead Don't Die’ at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival May 14, 2019. — Reuters pic

CANNES, May 16 — Chinese superstar Gong Li is to play volleyball legend Lang Ping, one of the country’s biggest sporting heroes, in a new film, industry reports said today.

Gong Li, who is at the Cannes film festival to receive a Women in Motion award, has been signed up for the movie, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Lang, nicknamed the “Iron Hammer”, captained the Chinese women’s team that won Olympic gold by beating the US at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

She later led her homeland to gold as coach at the Rio Games in 2016 having trained the American squad which won silver in Beijing eight years earlier.

The 58-year-old is the only woman to have won gold at the Olympics both as a player and a coach, and is still the head trainer of the Chinese team.

The as-yet-untitled biopic will be directed by powerhouse Hong Kong director Peter Chan, who has turned out a string of hits in China and Hollywood including Perhaps Love and The Warlords.

Gong Li walked the red carpet on the opening night at the festival wearing a Ralph & Russo Couture dress for the premiere of the star-studded zombie flick The Dead Don’t Die. — AFP