Former NBA star Mengke Bateer has joined the cast of Assassins and Bodyguards (Shiyue Weicheng), a star-studded blockbuster currently in production and due to screen at the end of the year.
The film, set in 1905, recounts how a group of kungfu masters protected Dr Sun Yat-sen in Hong Kong from would-be assassins.
Bateer, Donnie Yen and Leon Lai, are among Sun's six bodyguards. The 2.1-m center plays a street vendor who masters martial arts and says speaking his lines has proven more difficult than playing basketball and his action scenes have been equally challenging.
Born in 1975 in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Bateer used to play for several NBA teams, including Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs, and now plays for Xinjiang Guanghui.
The film, directed by Teddy Chen and produced by Peter Chan also features Nicolas Tse, Eric Tsang and Chris Lee, winner of China's version of American Idol.