Fan Bingbing movie set to be released in US

BEIJING • A Chinese World War II movie linked to actress Fan Bingbing's tax-evasion case may get a lifeline in the United States after its screening was halted in China.

Deadline.com reports that American entertainment company Lionsgate is likely to proceed with its domestic home entertainment release of Air Strike next week.

Lionsgate handles the movie's distribution in North America and is not involved in the release in China.

The entertainment news website also understands that Lionsgate's partner, Grindstone Entertainment Group, will keep to its plan of a small theatrical release in the US.

The movie, which boasts a star-studded cast including Hollywood actors Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody, was originally scheduled to be released in China on Aug 17. Fan has only a small role in it.

However, the Chinese distributor announced then that its release would be moved to Friday to coincide with the global release.

The announcement in August came amid the height of Fan's high-profile disappearance, when she was involved in the storm over her alleged inking of the so-called "yin-and-yang contracts" in a bid to avoid paying more taxes.

The 37-year-old actress was ordered to pay more than 800 million yuan (S$160 million) in overdue taxes and fines earlier this month after an investigation by the Chinese tax authorities found that she had split her contract to evade taxes of 7.3 million yuan over payments for her role in Air Strike, according to Xinhua news agency.

The news may come as a small relief to Air Strike director Xiao Feng, who reportedly had to use his own money and raise funds to finance the movie's post-production due to lack of funding from investors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2018, with the headline 'Fan Bingbing movie set to be released in US'. Print Edition | Subscribe