Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis canceled after tax case

FILE - In this May 24, 2017, file photo, Chinese actress Fan Bingbing poses for photographers as she arrives for the screening of the film The Beguiled at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France. The director of the film “Air Strike,” featuring Fan Bingbing, says its release has been canceled in the wake of her disappearance and conviction on tax evasion charges. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

BEIJING — The director of "Air Strike," featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, says the film's release has been canceled in the wake of her disappearance and conviction on tax evasion charges.

The World War II thriller, also starring Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody, was to have been released Oct. 26.

However, director Xiao Feng posted on his Weibo miniblog Wednesday that it was "time to let go" after eight years of work on the film.

Chinese tax authorities this month ordered Fan and companies she represents to pay taxes and penalties totaling $130 million, ending speculation over the fate of one of the country's highest-profile entertainers three months after she disappeared from public view.

State media said Fan evaded taxes by using two separate contracts for her work on "Air Strike."

Fan has starred in dozens of movies and TV series in China and is best known internationally for her role as Blink in 2014's "X-Men: Days of Future Past," a cameo in the Chinese version of "Iron Man 3," and for star turns on the red carpet at Cannes as recently as May.

Before her disappearance, she had been booked to star with Penelope Cruz in the Hollywood film "355."

Fan posted an apology on her official Weibo account saying that she accepted the tax authorities' decision and would "try my 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 coincided with a crackdown by Chinese authorities on high salaries for actors that can eat up much of the cost of a production. In June, regulators capped star pay 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.

You may also interested in

China blocks online broadcast of computer go match

May 24, 2017

Censors blocked China's internet users from seeing Google's online broadcast of a national go...

Computer wins 2nd game against Chinese go champion

May 25, 2017

A computer that plays go has won a second game against China's top player in a match authorities...

China clamping down on use of VPNs to evade Great...

Jul 20, 2017

China clamping down on use of VPNs to evade internet controls

Chinese activist stands trial accused of inciting...

Aug 22, 2017

A prominent Chinese human rights campaigner accused of inciting subversion of state power said at...

Kevin Kwan: Americans will embrace 'Crazy Rich...

Aug 30, 2017

Kevin Kwan believes America will embrace the "Crazy Rich Asians" movie, which is based on his...

Sign up now!