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Rosebud says Hollywood interested in her life story

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Rosebud says Hollywood
interested in her life story
Posted: 6:54 PM (Manila Time) | Dec. 26, 2002
By Fe B. Zamora

HOLLYWOOD, make way for Rosebud.

If things will work out fine, Mary Ong, better known as Rosebud, and her exploits in the drug world, will soon be made into a movie.

And not by Mother Lily, or Carlo Caparas, but, in Hollywood and with celebrated Asian director John Woo, no less, as director.

The movie will have all the elements of a box-office hit - love, violence, betrayal, intrigues - but the names of Senator Panfilo Lacson, Police Chief Supt. Rey Berroya, Intelligence Chief Col. Victor Corpus, or even an allusion to their persons, will not be included in the movie.

Her late lover and accomplice, John Campos, will be included, naturally, for the love angle.

"They are interested in my story, but no politics," Ong said.

"I'm praying that the talks will succeed. I really am," Ong said on Christmas eve.

Her agent, Carl Ryll, has promised to get her a six-figure deal -- in US dollars -- for the rights to her story, and a two-percent royalty -- also in dollars -- from the proceeds of the movie.

International Asian actresses Michelle Yeoh of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Lucy Liu of Charlie's Angels and Kelly Hu of Scorpion King, are being eyed to play the Binondo girl-turned dollar smuggler-turned narcotics agent both for the Hongkong and the Philippine police.

Initial talks have also been made with Dreamworks and Warner, and with the staff of the celebrated John Woo, director of the Tom Cruise' starrer Mission Impossible II, to produce and direct the movie.

"Anybody who will make money in the box office will be a good choice for me. I have no personal choices," Ong told INQ7.net in an interview in her safehouse.

"It will be an action movie set against the dangerous world of drug syndicates," she also said. The screenplay will be written by a team of writers in the US, and shooting will most probably be also in the US, Ong said.

A six-month contract between Ong and Ryll was signed recently, with Ong giving Ryll full authority to market her story in Hollywood.

"Local producers think my story is too hot to handle, but foreign producers see it in a different way," she said.

In fact, the planned Hollywood movie has been a welcomed development in the life of the 46-year old state witness and her two sons.

Ong has been living on her 10th safehouse since February 2001 when she linked Lacson, former chief of the Philippine National Police, to drug trafficking and kidnap-for-ransom activities.

She was shanghaied from her 9th safehouse to the present after a burglar -- and believed to be an assassin -- breached her maximum security last October.



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