Memoirs of a Geisha Gets a Dream-Team Cast

Steven Spielberg has given up on directing an adaptation of the exquisite bestseller Memoirs of a Geisha, now that he’s busy with what is reportedly the most expensive film in history … War of the Worlds.

But the movie’s moving forward anyway, and now Rob Marshall (Chicago) is in charge. That probably means it’ll be colorful, but does Marshall have the subtlety and poetry necessary to make this anything other than a broad-stroke, commerical opera? (No, I don’t mean that literally… it’s not going to be a musical.)

Fortunately, the cast looks like a dream come true.

Zhang Ziyi is the perfect choice for the lead role of the orphan, Sayuri.

Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai) will play the Chairman.

Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) may play Sayuri’s mentor.

And Gong Li, star of Zhang Yimou’s great epic To Live, will probably play Hatsumomo.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Don't you hate these ugly click-bait ads? Visit for a bigger, better, ad-free version of Jeffrey Overstreet's blog. Jeffrey Overstreet is the senior film critic for Christianity Today, the author of Through a Screen Darkly and Auralia's Colors, and he teaches writing and film at Seattle Pacific University, Houston Baptist University, and Northwest University.