Fan Bingbing, Token Chinaman

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Earlier today Marvel announced it will be releasing a Chinese version of its upcoming blockbuster, Iron Man 3, which will differ from the film that audiences outside of China see.

The announcement also included the detail that Chinese actress and singer Fan Bingbing will be cut out of the non-Chinese version of the film. (The Diplomat)

Kudos to Marvel and DMG for rolling with the punches and localizing content to get the most out of a theatrical project. If putting in special bonus “China” content makes Beijing happy and gets the film better distribution over here (and, I assume, more ticket sales), then I guess it’s win-win.

But I’m just wondering what Fan Bingbing feels about all this. Happy to get a paycheck and be part of a big title, sure. On the other hand, kind of a hit to the old ego, eh? “Sorry, honey, you’re good enough for the local version of this flick, but you’re still not up to snuff when it comes to the top international markets. Come back when you grow up.”

If it was me, I’d be kind of pissed off. And if I was representing a top Chinese actor, the next time a foreign studio came calling, I’d insist on a “will appear in foreign release” clause in my contract.

One response on “Fan Bingbing, Token Chinaman

  1. Robert Park

    I think we’re just seeing more and more examples of foreign studios using those local content laws to get around the import quota. As whatever judge had noted in a previous post you made, they’re getting around the spirit of the law while adhering to the letter.

    I honestly don’t think we’d see these actors and actresses in these roles if it weren’t for these laws. We saw similar moves in other movies (eg. most recent example I can think of is Looper having Chinese scenes removed for western nations because the Chinese scenes didn’t test well).

    Instead of focusing on making movies to have the highest quality possible, they are inserting token Chinese actors and scenes for the sake of accessing the Chinese market easier.