Dis­graced Chi­nese star’s movie on hold

Calgary Herald - - YOU -

BEI­JING The di­rec­tor of Air Strike, fea­tur­ing Chi­nese ac­tress Fan Bing­bing, says the film’s re­lease has been can­celled in the wake of her dis­ap­pear­ance and con­vic­tion on tax eva­sion charges.

The Sec­ond World War thriller, also star­ring Bruce Wil­lis and Adrien Brody, was to have been re­leased Oct. 26.

But di­rec­tor Xiao Feng posted on his Weibo miniblog Wed­nes­day that it was “time to let go” after eight years of work on the film.

Chi­nese tax au­thor­i­ties this month or­dered Fan and com­pa­nies she rep­re­sents to pay taxes and penal­ties to­talling $130 mil­lion, end­ing spec­u­la­tion over the fate of one of the coun­try ’s high­est­pro­file en­ter­tain­ers three months after she dis­ap­peared from pub­lic view.

State me­dia said Fan evaded taxes by us­ing two sep­a­rate con­tracts for her work on Air Strike.

Fan has starred in dozens of movies and TV series in China and is best known in­ter­na­tion­ally for her role as Blink in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Fu­ture Past, a cameo in the Chi­nese ver­sion of Iron Man 3 and for ap­pear­ances on the red car­pet at Cannes as re­cently as May.

In Hol­ly­wood films, she is cred­ited as Bing­bing Fan, putting her sur­name last, fol­low­ing West­ern us­age in re­verse of Chi­nese prac­tice. Be­fore her dis­ap­pear­ance, she had been booked to star with Pene­lope Cruz in the Hol­ly­wood film 355.

Fan posted an apol­ogy on her of­fi­cial Weibo ac­count say­ing she ac­cepted the tax au­thor­i­ties’ de­ci­sion and would “try my best to over­come all dif­fi­cul­ties and raise funds to pay back taxes and fines.”

“I am un­wor­thy of the trust of the so­ci­ety and let down the fans who love me,” she wrote.

Fan’s dis­ap­pear­ance co­in­cided with a crack­down by Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties on high salaries for ac­tors that can eat up much of the cost of a pro­duc­tion. In June, reg­u­la­tors capped star pay at 40 per cent of a TV show’s en­tire pro­duc­tion bud­get and 70 per cent of the to­tal paid to all the ac­tors in a film.

Fan Bing­bing


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