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According to news items in Film Daily and Hollywood Reporter, Jacques Feyder was originally announced as the film's director, and M-G-M contract players Robert Young and Robert Montgomery had at various times been named as the male lead. Other news items mentioned that Richard Cromwell was going to be borrowed from Columbia for the lead. Actresses mentioned as possible leads included Anna May Wong and Lupe Velez. About ten days before the start of production, it was announced that Helen Hayes would be replaced as the lead so that she could appear in The White Sister, however, that production was postponed and Hayes was able to appear in both films. Other actors mentioned as possible cast members were Edmund Lowe and John Miljan, but the specific parts for which they were considered has not been determined. Hollywood Reporter production charts and news items included Sumner Getchell, Frederick Burt, Ben Bard, Edward McWade and Bodil Rosing in the cast, however, their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. Other news items note the following information: Robert Z. Leonard took over as director for about ten days while Clarence Brown was ill with a bad case of flu; special lighting techniques and sets were specifically designed for "day" and "night" scenes so that Chinatown would look gaudy by day and drab by night; shortly after production began four hundred Chinese extras went on a food strike until they were given the kind of food they liked; and in early December 1932 ten days of new scenes were added to make the picture "a special." A 10 November Film Daily news item erroneously reported that the picture starring Roman Novarro and Helen Hayes, entitled Let's Go, had been renamed Fast Life. Fast Life actually starred Madge Evans and William Haines (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1287). According to a 24 December Hollywood Reporter news item, playwright George Scarborough filed a lawsuit against M-G-M over script alterations in the film, however, no additional information on the suit has been located.