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Thursday, 5 November, 1998, 19:55 GMT
Last chance for Anna and the King
Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster: Anna And The King project in doubt
A Hollywood studio will have a final chance to win government approval to film a remake of the 1950s classic The King and I, starring Jodie Foster in Thailand, according to government officials.

Thailand's National Film Board has already refused 20th Century Fox permission to shoot in the country, claiming the project would be intended as pure entertainment rather than to uphold the revered Thai monarchy.

Prasit Damrongchai, permanent secretary to the prime minister's office and chairman of the film board, said he would meet Fox's Thai co-ordinator to find out more about the film.

But it remains unlikely the authorities will change their decision, as Prasit explained the reasons why the board had blocked the film.

Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner: Starred in the original The King And I
"We have weighed up whether it would be worth it for the money but decided that as our institution (the monarchy) will have a lead role in the movie it is not worth it."

Fox wants to remake the movie with Foster in the lead role of Anna Leonowens and Hong Kong's Chow Yun Fat playing King Mongkhut (Rama IV).

The movie would be retitled Anna and the King and offer a more historically accurate account of the five years Leonowens served as English tutor to the King of Siam's children in the 19th century.

The original film version of The King and I, starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr, as well as the play on which it was based, were banned in Thailand.

See also:

28 Oct 98 | Entertainment
Thais jeopardise King and I remake
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