The Thai Film Board last night rejected 20th Century Fox's latest - and possibly final - proposal for shooting a remake of the cinema classic The King and I, starring Chow Yun-fat. It said Chow's planned role still portrayed the revered King Mongkut as a clown. 'The new script is still too close to the original,' said board chairman Prasit Damrongchai after refusing to allow the remake, Anna and the King, to be filmed on Thai soil. 'We cannot accept the depiction of a Thai king who brought such great benefits to his people as a clown who learned everything from a foreign lady.' The 1956 version was based on the now-disputed memoirs of a prim English teacher, Anna Leonowens, and her relationship with King Mongkut in the royal court of the 19th century. The board said it would only accept a fifth version of the script if 'historic inaccuracies' were corrected - chiefly watering down the suggestion of a close relationship between the pair, a bond that cuts to the heart of the story. Project co-ordinator Supinda Chakraband emerged from the meeting warning that Fox might not have time for a new draft as Jodie Foster - set to play Leonowens - had a tight schedule. 'Thailand may have lost a great opportunity if Fox now decides to go elsewhere,' said Ms Supinda.