Li Na: Tennis star’s life to hit big screen
A heroine breaking the rules to reach the top, who never gave up on her “impossible dream.”
Not the plot of an action blockbuster, but the premise for the latest film immortalizing the life of a sporting great on the silver screen.
Li Na is Asia’s only grand slam singles champion and, after calling time on her tennis career last year, the Chinese star is set to oversee the adaption of her autobiography for the big screen.
Production on the as-yet untitled flick will begin this fall ahead of a planned release early in 2016.
“Li Na had an impossible dream and found a way to turn it into a reality,” renowned Chinese filmmaker Peter Ho-Sun Chan head of We Pictures, said in a statement.
“I’m mesmerized by what she has been able to accomplish and what she represents as a symbol of hope for millions of people around the world. I’m more curious at her raison d’etre in China today.”
Li hopes the film will “inspire others to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.”
“I had to make a lot of sacrifices in my life in order to become the best tennis player I could be and the film project makes it all worth it,” said Li, who reached second in the world rankings after turning pro in 1999.
Now aged 33, Li won nine WTA Tour titles during her career, the high points of which were her triumphs at the French Open in 2011 and the 2014 Australian Open.
In January, Li announced she was expecting her first child with husband, and former coach, Dennis.
Chan’s “American Dreams in China” ranked among China’s top-five grossing films of 2014 and took more than $90 million at the box office.