Chinese director’s ongoing film accused of copying a Marvel production
Published: Dec 27, 2020 10:31 PM

A poster of The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity is placed in a cinema in Chongqing on November 17, 2020. Photo: CFP

The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity
, a Chinese costume fantasy film helmed by the controversial Chinese director Guo Jingming, which is now widely showing in Chinese mainland cinemas, has been accused of including scenes that are very much similar to the 2016 US superhero film Doctor Strange

First posted by observant netizens on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, there are six scenes in Guo's film which were spotted as looking nearly the same as some Doctor Strange scenes. 

The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity and Doctor Strange both incorporate the element of a 'glow circle', in which the circle in Guo's film has not only the same color and is almost the same size as the 2016 US film, and the matrix of people practicing with it looks the same as the designed matrix in Doctor Strange

The similarities between the superhero film and Guo's movie soon became a hot topic discussed by netizens on Weibo and the Chinese media review platform Douban. 

"You can't say they are 'similar'; it should be 'exactly the same'," a netizen posted on Weibo.

"Definitely plagiarized. He has the history of copying other creators' work," said another.    

It might not be a big shock that some netizens seem inclined to believe the Chinese director has plagiarized Doctor Strange, since Guo has been involved in a few plagiarism scandals in the past, leaving him a negative public image. 

Guo, as a writer, was accused by female writer Zhuang Yu in 2003, who claimed his full-length novel Never Flowers in Never Dreams copied her novel In and Out of the Circle. Zhuang provided evidence of at least seven similar places. As a filmmaker, Guo has recently been boycotted by 111 Chinese film and TV insiders in a joint letter, calling Guo a 'representative of plagiarism' as well as accusing him of undertaking a supervisor role on TV entertainment shows to deliberately create drama and topics to build hype for his own productions. 

The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity was adapted from a popular novel written by Japanese fiction and adventure writer Baku Yumemakura. Before the film's official release, it has already been widely praised by fans due to its star-studded cast and world class production teams. The film has also given a fair performance since its official release on Friday, earning more than 200,000,000 box office sales as of Sunday within three days of screening.