A Mel Gibson-produced film featuring Fan Bingbing in just one scene has been canceled following her recent tax scandal.
“Air Strike,” which stars Hollywood actors Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody, was originally due to be released on August 17, but was pushed back to October 26 due to the controversy.
However, director Xiao Feng has confirmed on Wednesday that it was “time to give up,” noting that the film had been “smeared.”
Also known as “Unbreakable Spirit,” the film additionally features Chinese actor Liu Ye and Korean star Song Seung-Heon.
Set during the Second World War, the film revolves around the Japanese bombing of the wartime capital city of Chongqing.
It was initially put on hold after Fan was accused of evading taxes earlier this year. After disappearing over the summer, the actress recently emerged and issued a public apology for tax evasion.
Fan, who has been listed as the highest-paid celebrity in the Forbes China Celebrity 100
list for four years in a row since 2013, was paid 30 million yuan ($4.3 million) for her appearance in a single scene in the film.
Chinese television host Cui Yongyuan. who leaked documents that showed Fan was evading taxes, claimed Fan used so-called “yin-yang contracts.”
In such contracts, one document shows the actor’s real earnings while another with a much lower figure is given to the taxman. Such activity is reportedly rampant in the Chinese entertainment industry.
The film was also embroiled in a scandal back in 2015 when the Shanghai Kuailu Investment Group, one of the production’s investors, was accused of fraud and illegal fundraising.
According to the South China Morning Post, some investors pulled out their support for the film due to the surrounding controversy. Director Xiao even raised the funds on his own just to complete the film’s post-production work.
Featured image via (right) Lionsgate and (left) Instagram/bingbing_fan