Distributor Lionsgate looks set to release Bruce Willis-led World War II movie Air Strike in the US this week despite it being ditched from cinemas’ schedules in China following the Fan Bingbing tax evasion scandal. The film was due to be screened in China in August but was pulled following allegations made against Fan regarding “yin-yang contracts”, an affair that ultimately led to her months-long disappearance, a huge fine, and a grovelling social media apology.
The Xiao Feng-directed movie, which has also been known variously as The Bombing and Unbreakable Spirit in English, will get a “home entertainment release”, according to Deadline, which also provides some plot details:
[The film] follows a group of Chinese spies and refugees who must carry a game-changing decoder device through the war-torn countryside during intense Japanese Air Force attacks. Willis is a U.S. Army colonel who trains Chinese aviators to battle Japanese fighters. Adrien Brody, Liu Ye and Nicolas Tse also star.
According to Sina Weibo, Lionsgate have confirmed the release will “go ahead as scheduled” this Friday in the US, though the company declined to answer questions about Fan Bingbing. Which is hardly surprising.
Many of the figures involved in the movie have denied any wrongdoing, but a weary-sounding Xiao Feng took to Weibo to post that it was “time to let go”, in reference to the film’s attempted China release. Cui Yongyuan, the TV presenter whose publishing of Fan’s dodgy contracts sparked this whole affair, doesn’t seem ready to drop it just yet however and continues to post accusations on his own Weibo account.
Kind of seems like the film will, err, bomb regardless. But if you want to check it out on your home entertainment system in the US you can do so from Friday. Here’s the trailer from back when it still seemed destined for a summer release in China:
Photo courtesy Lionsgate: Bruce Willis (“Jack”, left), Ye Lui (“Xue Gangtou”, middle), and Seung-heon Song (“An Minxun”, right) star in AIR STRIKE.
More background on the Fan Bingbing tax evasion scandal:
Fan Bingbing, “Yin-Yang Contracts”, and Alleged Tax Evasion: Will the Scandal Change China’s Film Industry?
TV and Film Production Companies are Fleeing a Small City in Xinjiang Following the Fan Bingbing Scandal
Chinese Authorities Finally Issue a Statement on Fan Bingbing, Fining Her for Tax Evasion
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