The action film has come under fire for splicing footage from X-Men: First Class into its international trailer as well as another allegation of copyright infringement.
The filmmakers behind Wolf Warriors 2, the sequel to the 2015 action hit, are under fire on at least two fronts, just a day after the launch of its international trailer.
Hours after releasing the trailer on Thursday, an eagle-eyed Weibo user pointed out that some of the footage of a missile strike in it appeared to be lifted directly from 2011’s X-Men: First Class.
X-Men: First Class appears at the top; Wolf Warriors 2 trailer footage appears at the bottom.
Later on Thursday, the official Wolf Warriors 2 Weibo account issued an apology, explaining that the mishap was down to the carelessness of an unnamed staff member.
The note, which was signed off with simply Wolf Warrior 2 Movie in Mandarin, said a test version of the trailer had inadvertently been released instead of the final, correct version.
Shortly after, Jacky Wu (aka Wu Jing), who produced, directs and acts in the film, also took to Weibo to apologize, adding that his company was contacting media outlets to provide them with the correct version of the trailer.
No sooner had that fire been doused than another broadside came on Friday when the Haidian District People’s Court of Beijing posted a statement on Weibo acknowledging it had officially accepted a case against the filmmakers.
The statement outlined the details of a complaint brought by Wuhan Chuanqiren Entertainment Co., Ltd. against Wu Jing’s Deng Feng International Media and Horgos Chunqiu Time Media Co., Ltd alleging a breach of copyright.
The plaintiff is seeking RMB 10 million (US$1.5 million) in compensation as well as an order for theaters, video streaming websites and television stations to not show the movie. The suit also seeks to stop Wu Jing’s company from using the Chinese characters for Wolf Warriors in any way.
It’s unclear if China Film Group, Bona Films, or Beijing Culture, who are also listed as producers, are also included in the legal case or not.
“All of our staff are doing their best to produce a great movie for our audience at present. They are working hard every day and aren’t paying attention to this [issue], nor do they have the energy to reply,” said Wu Jing’s company in a statement at the time.
The Wolf Warrior 2 filmmakers have signed a guarantee with an investor or investors that the film must hit screens between July 1 and August 18 or face a financial penalty, according to local reports.
The distributors have also reportedly guaranteed a minimum box office of RMB 800 million ($116 million) from Chinese mainland theaters after it debuts on July 28.
Like the first film in the franchise, Wolf Warriors 2 follows a special forces soldier played by Wu as he battles foreign mercenaries — although this time the action takes place in an unnamed African country.
The film also stars Celina Jade, Frank Grillo, and Zhang Han.