Last year, Chinese film star and X-Men: Days of Future Past actress Fan Bingbing disappeared from the public eye after she was accused of tax evasion in the Middle Kingdom. She made her first comments in four months after apologizing for the alleged crimes, but the popular actress suffered a major blow to her career in China.
But now it looks like Fan returning to the screen with her confirmed involvement in the film 355, the all-female spy thriller from producer Jessica Chastain and director Simon Kinberg. Variety confirmed her involvement, which was first announced just a few months before her disappearance last June.
"The project is moving forward with the original cast and filmmaker, and a start date announcement with full details will be forthcoming," said Variety's source.
Chastain and Fan are set to star alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Penelope Cruz, and Marion Cotillard. But the report indicates that 355 has lost financial support from China-based Huayi Brothers Media, a possible fallout from Fan's continued involvement.
Best known to American audiences for her role as Blink in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Fan was one of China's biggest stars before her disappearance and the subsequent reveal of tax evasion allegations. The saga began shortly after the Chinese government announced investigations into the entertainment industry's not-so-secret tactics of tax evasion.
Reports indicated that Fan took part in the practice of "yin-yang contracts," meaning she signed multiple contracts for a job and reported the contract with the lower taxes to the government, allowing her to keep more money. This was apparently a widespread tactic in China's entertainment industry, prompting government investigation.
"I feel ashamed and guilty for what I did, and here, I offer my sincere apology to everyone," Fan wrote on Chinese social media site Weibo. "I feel ashamed that I committed tax evasion in Unbreakable Spirit and other projects by taking advantage of ‘split contracts.’ Throughout these days of my cooperation with the taxation authorities’ investigation of my accounts as well as my company’s, I have realized that, as a public figure, I should’ve observed the law, setting a good example for society and the industry."
Expect to hear more news about Fan and Chastain's new movie 355 in the coming months.
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