Reports have surfaced in China that Yao is considering entering the film industry, which was confirmed by Erik Zhang, Yao’s agent and spokesperson. Here’s an excerpt from a Shanghai Daily article that was published earlier this week:
Previous reports said the Chinese basketball celebrity was in touch with Jay Cohen, an independent filmmaker in Hollywood and the two are planning to establish a film finance fund, according to TheWrap.com, a showbiz news website.
“It is still under discussion and we haven’t made a decision yet,” Zhang told reporters.
Cohen mentioned his cooperation with Yao Ming while being interviewed last week about his comment on Chinese film director Zhang Yimou’s latest work, “The Flowers of War,” said TheWrap.
Cohen said during his interview that the Chinese market is different from Hollywood, where the focus is firmly fixed on the bottom line. But he is optimistic about the business.
“They make movies for specific reasons,” Cohen told TheWrap. “Sometimes, it is to introduce the culture of China to other markets, sometimes for cultural history. No one is going to lose money, but sometimes they do it for a sense of cultural pride.”