Bruce Willis Film ‘Air Strike’ Canceled After Chinese Co-star Fan Bingbing Disappears
The director of Air Strike, featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, says the film has been canceled after her disappearance and conviction on tax evasion charges.
According to a post on director Xiao Feng‘s Weibo miniblog Wednesday, the film has been canceled after eight years of work.
Chinese tax authorities this month ordered Fan and the companies she represents to pay taxes and penalties of $130 million, ending speculation over the fate of one of China’s highest-profile entertainers after she disappeared from the public view for three months.
State media said Fan evaded taxes by using two separate contracts, “yin-yang” contracts, for her work on Air Strike. Yin-yang contracts are a practice where one contract sets out an actor’s real earnings and another details a lower figure with the later submitted to the tax authorities.
Fan has starred in dozens of roles in China and is best known internationally for her role as Blink in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past and for appearing on the red carpet at Cannes as recently as May.
Fan posted an apology to her Weibo account accepting the tax authorities’ decision. She also added that she would try her “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 in her first update of her Weibo.com microblog since June 2.
Fan’s disappearance happened during a crackdown by Chinese authorities on high salaries for actors. In June, regulators set star’s salary limits at 40 percent of a TV show’s entire production budget and 70 percent of the total paid to all the actors in a film.
Air Strike will be available on demand and in select theaters on Oct. 26.
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