James Bond is likely to be shaken and stirred by actress Michelle Yeoh.
She is the Hong Kong chop socky star, kung fu expert and former Miss Malaysia cast as the next “Bond girl,” joining topliner Pierce Brosnan in the 18th installment of the Eon Prods./United Artists franchise based on Ian Fleming’s fictional secret agent.
Yeoh will join a long roster of leading ladies, including Ursula Andress as Honey Rider in “Dr. No,” Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore in “Goldfinger,” and, most recently, Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp in “Goldeneye.”
Best known in the U.S. for co-starring with martial arts idol Jackie Chan in the recent Miramax release “Supercop” Yeoh is respected in the martial arts community for her kung fu prowess. She’s also a major draw on the Chinese film circuit, having starred in Hong Kong actioners such as “Yes, Madam” and “Royal Warriors.”
Yeoh will next be seen in “The Soong Sisters,” the big-budget historic epic upcoming from Golden Harvest.
MGMUA is banking heavily on the as-yet untitled James Bond movie, to be helmed by Roger Spottiswoode. Due to start lensing soon, “Bond 18” has, however, been pushed back by the studio from its original Thanksgiving bow.
Perhaps Yeoh, as Bond’s next sidekick, will help kick the production into gear in time to make its new release date: Christmas 1997.