Producers strip Fan Bingbing’s name from film poster amid tax investigation

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/8 16:33:40

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing's name was removed from the poster of the soon-to-be-released film, Unbreakable Spirit. Fan is being investigated for alleged tax evasion.

Producers of the film will postpone its officially release date from August 17 to October 26 to coincide with a worldwide release, the film's Sina Weibo account said on Tuesday.

However, Fan, whose name was mentioned in the film's previous poster, was removed in the new version.

Produced by China Film Group, Unbreakable Spirit stars Bruce Willis, with Mel Gibson as art director. Thirteen actors were named in the film poster, including Liu Ye, Song Seung-heon and William Chan. Fan plays a kindergarten headmaster in the film.

The producers told Sina the new poster only mentioned the key actors and removed those with guest appearances. They did not say whether Fan's scenes would be removed as well, Sina reported on Tuesday.

Zhang Peng, a film researcher at Nanjing University's National Research Center of Cultural Industries, told the Global Times that "with huge investments and interests involved, producers wouldn't want to risk the film's potential at the box office over Fan's taxation issue."

Contracts with actors usually clearly state that the production company can terminate the contract if disputes have a negative impact on the box office, Zhang noted.

Fan's studio was investigated by the tax bureau of Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu Province in June after outspoken TV host Cui Yongyuan exposed blacked-out contracts, alleging that Fan had evaded paying taxes of exorbitant income.

China had begun curbing the "irrational" increase in the actors' income, amid growing calls from the public. The salaries of performers and show guests should not exceed 40 percent of the overall budget, and the leading stars should take no more than 70 percent of the cast's total salary, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

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