Release of Bruce Willis’ Unbreakable Spirit canceled in China
The WWII movie Unbreakable Spirit won’t be seeing a theatrical release in China this weekend following allegations of money laundering, according to Variety. Unbreakable Spirit, which stars Bruce Willis, Adrian Brody and Fan Bingbing, was originally slated for an August release under the title The Bombing, but was pushed back to August after co-star Fan was accused of tax avoidance. Now, with the latest accusations, the film Unbreakable Spirit canceled its release outright.
“It is time to let it go. My sincere apologies to my crew, the distribution team, and all audiences who had high expectations of the film.” director Xiao Feng wrote on social media, who spent eight years working on the project.
The announcement comes just a day after TV host Cui Yongyuan had alleged the film was artificially inflating its budget, and large sums of Shanghai pension fund money were laundered through the production and called for a boycott of the film.
Executive producer Wang Ding says the film stayed within its projected budget of $21.7 million, though other sources place that number closer to $90 million. This is another in a long string of financial issues that has plagued the production. Early investors Hehe Film & Television pulled out after they were caught in a box office scandal regarding IP Man 3, and the original producer, Shi Jianxiang, fled the country and is currently on China’s most-wanted list.
Unbreakable Spirit is Chinese war movie based on the infamous attacks on Chongqing during WWII, which included a total of 268 air raids from 1938 to 1943. Willis stars as a USAAC advisor, named Jack Johnson, who trains the Chinese people under harrowing conditions to battle against the Japanese and leads his own aviation squadron against the trained Japanese Air Force.