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Sci-fi saga with a local twist

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-22 07:03

Revealing her vision for the movie, Avery says: "We want to make the film to have true Chinese elements, so we can expose the rest of the world to what is happening in China right now."

Environmental issues are a highlight of the story.

As Turteltaub, the director, says: "This film goes to the heart of our fascination with the planet, about the mysteries, about what came before us ... Our future is about the survival of the ocean, so we need to know what's going on (in the ocean)."

Separately, what is a matter of "survival" for Chinese actress Li Bingbing is learning to cope with the English accents on the film's sets.

"I have been as alert as a rabbit on the sets. When someone speaks, I am alert and I try to follow what they are saying," says the A-lister, who began to learn English only at 36.

Known to be a diligent learner, Li, now 43, is among the few Chinese mainland actresses who can speak English fluently.

Recalling her preparations for the film, the actress says she had to memorize all the lines, including dialogues of other characters.

"It would be seem unnatural if you tried to speak a foreign language while mentally translating it, while acting," she says.

The same problem also afflicted Winston Chao, the veteran Taiwan actor who grabbed international attention with Ang Lee's 1993 film The Wedding Banquet.

Chao, who plays a lead scientist and Li's father in the film, says he had studied American accents as well as diving before the filming started.

Water wasn't a challenge for Statham, who's a former competitive diver.

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