The Chinese World War II movie Unbreakable Spirit (a.k.a. Air Strike, and formerly titled The Bombing) has certainly had a troubled journey to the screen – and now it seems it won’t actually reach the screen, in China at least.
Shi Jianxiang, the original producer of the film – which features a cast that includes Bruce Willis, Fan Bingbing, Lie Ye, Nicholas Tse and Adrien Brody – is currently on China’s most wanted list after fleeing the country following the box office fraud scandal surrounding Ip Man 3.
Last month, its release in China was pushed back due to the tax evasion issues surrounding then-missing actress Fan Bingbing, who has recently resurfaced with a public apology and a whopping $130 million fine. And now, having been hit with fresh allegations of money laundering and artificially inflating its budget, the film’s Chinese release has been scrapped entirely.
“It is time to let it go,” director Xiao Feng wrote on social media site Weibo. “My sincere apologies to my crew, the distribution team, and all audiences who had high expectations of the film. There were so many truths and facts but none of them could help us, and our innocence couldn’t be seen because so many haters defamed us. So many efforts become nothing… It doesn’t mean we give it up. It’s just so hard to walk through it after eight years raising of Air Strike. I apologize to everyone who supported me, to my friends and the crew, to the distribution team and audience who still want to see the film. I believe good will be rewarded with good, and evil with evil.”
Despite being pulled from the Middle Kingdom, it’s expected that the U.S. and U.K. releases will still go ahead as planned.
This pulse-pounding war epic centres around the courage of China’s citizens during WWII. As U.S. Air Force commander Jack Johnson (Willis) trains the Chinese aviators to battle Japanese fighters, a hot-headed pilot begs to fly a powerful bomber that could stop the attacks. Meanwhile, a team of spies and refugees must carry a game-changing decoder device through the war-torn countryside. The Bombing portrays this historic conflict in a thrilling new light.
The Bombing features a cast that includes Bruce Willis, Ye Liu, Fan Binbing, Nicholas Tse, Adrien Brody, William Wai-Ting Chan, Wei Fan, Janine Chun-Ning Chang, Simon Yam, Eric Tsang, Shengyi Huang, Xiaoqing Liu, Gang Wu, Yuanzheng Feng, and Tenma Shibuya.