Fan Bingbing is back back. The formerly-most famous Chinese actress is finally returning after all of her financial and legal issues. Fan got in trouble for a legitimate amount of tax evasion in China and ended up spending some time at a “resort” of sorts–if you consider Guantanamo Bay a resort. Well now that she’s out of the clink, she needs a new gig to help get money back in her no-longer-fraudulent bank account, and she’s got a pal in Jessica Chastain who is graciously allowing this felon to still be in her all-female action movie, 355.
Fan Bingbing got in trouble when China decided to audit her ass and they found that she was a lot richer than she was claiming to be and had been avoiding taxes. Through the use of some shady contract messiness, Fan screwed the Chinese government out of millions and later disappeared from public life. We were all like, “What happened to you girl?”, since she was nowhere to be found. There were rumors that she was in jail and then we found out she was released from jail. But China doesn’t call it “jail,” they call it “residential surveillance”. Which is different because human rights organizations condemn the practice… so… Well, it seems that Fan is no longer being surveilled by the Chinese government and is now free to act once again, because Variety is reporting that she’s still going to be in 355.
Sources confirmed that 355 will start shooting this year with Jessica, Fan, Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard. BUT there is one issue. There was big “buzz” around the movie at Cannes and after pitching it, Jessica and company were able to secure backing by financial investors. The gag is: these were Chinese investors, Huayi Brothers Media. Fan is no longer China’s media darling and she and her companies had to pay back $129 million in fines. So producing a movie with her is not really a great idea. And thus they pulled out. A spokesman for Huayi said:
“We are no longer involved with this project.”
And that was all they said, but girl, we know why… or do we? It seems that on top of not wanting to be associated with Fan, Huayi is kind of going broke. 355‘s film budget is around $75 million. And Huayi announced to shareholders this week that they expect to lose about $13.5 million in the first quarter of the year. So if you’re losing $13.5 mil I don’t see how you could then finance 75. Looks like Huayi lucked out with Fan’s greed catching up to her, eh?
I just hope that Jessica’s production company is double-checking those checks. Fan lost it all, you think she ain’t trying to get it back? Better make sure those million-dollar paychecks are payable to “Lupita Nyong’o” and not “
Lupita Nyong’o Fan.”