Memoirs of a Geisha: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Zhang Ziyi, who co-starred in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is in final negotiations to play the title character in the film adaptation of "Memoirs of a Geisha," while the Oscar-nominated Ken Watanabe has signed on to play the male lead.

Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Youki Kudoh and Koji Yakusho also are in final negotiations to join the cast of the Columbia Pictures/DreamWorks/Spyglass Entertainment feature, which Rob Marshall is directing.

Watanabe, who received an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actor for The Last Samurai, will portray the Chairman, a high-powered executive with whom the young geisha, Sayuri, falls in love. The Chinese-born Zhang will play Sayuri, the young orphan from a remote fishing village whose life changes when she is sent to the city to learn the ways of the geisha.

Brian B.