Zhang Ziyi, 40, is set to return to the big screen with “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” A week before the release of the action adventure fantasy film, it was announced that the Chinese actress will serve as the president of the international competition jury of the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival, which will run from October 28, 2019 to November 5, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.
“We are so thrilled to welcome Zhang Ziyi as the president of the competition jury,” 2019 TIFF festival director Takeo Hisamatsu said in a statement. “Hailing from China, she is recognized as one of the leading actresses in the world but the impact she made in her first feature film ‘The Road Home’ is still unforgettable.”
“She later starred in ‘Princess Raccoon,’ Seijun Suzuki’s final film, which earned her many Japanese fans,” Hisamatsu said of Zhang. “We are very much looking forward to working with her at this year’s TIFF, and we feel certain that it will be a rewarding experience for all of us.”
Zhang was born in Beijing, China on February 9, 1979. She is an alumna of the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing.
“To be invited to participate in the Tokyo International Film Festival gives me great joy as it will allow me to spend time with movie-loving fans in Japan,” Zhang said. “To preside over the Jury this year fills me with great humility as this will present an exceptional experience for me to work with my distinguished fellow film-makers to discover and celebrate great films.”
When Zhang was 16 years old, she made her acting debut in the television film “Touching Starlight.” At the age of 19, she starred in Zhang Yimou’s “The Road Home,” which won the Silver Bear prize at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2000 in Berlin, Germany.
“When I first came to Tokyo, it was as a young actor who was traveling outside of China with her first feature film,” Zhang recalled. “I was immensely touched by the warmth of the reception for ‘The Road Home’ and witnessed first-hand the love and passion that Japan has for the art of movie-making.”
Joining Zhang in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” are Ken Watanabe, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Anthony Ramos, among others. A sequel to the 2014 film “Godzilla,” the monster film was directed by Michael Dougherty, who co-wrote the screenplay with Zach Shields.
“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States and by Toho in Japan and is set to hit theaters on May 31, 2019 in the U.S. Watch the trailer here: