Plagiarizing Director’s Film Pulled From China’s Silver Screens

Some online are arguing that it would be unfair for an entire production to be punished because of one man’s mistakes over a decade ago.

An already-released film is being booted from Chinese cinemas after its director was publicly called out for plagiarism he committed over a decade ago.

On Monday night, the Chinese film “The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity,” a fantasy drama adapted from a series of Japanese novels, was pulled from two major ticketing platforms, confirming rumors of its impending fall from grace. The movie had been in theaters for just 10 days, having raked in a respectable 452 million yuan ($70 million) at the domestic box office.

That evening, the film’s official account on microblogging platform Weibo posted a farewell message. “Serving you has been an honor. We have no regrets in this life,” the film wrote.

By Tuesday, most but not all movie theaters in China had canceled upcoming screenings of “Yin-Yang Master,” reimbursing customers who had already reserved seats. On ticketing platforms and box office-tracking apps, pages about the film vanished, prompting a collective question from Chinese social media users: Why?

The film had been criticized for imitating visuals from Marvel’s 2016 blockbuster “Doctor Strange,” but otherwise there were no glaring issues: It had paid for the story rights and been rubber-stamped by China’s film regulator.

The main issue, it appeared, was the film’s controversial director, Guo Jingming, who recently became the butt of criticism over a decade-old indiscretion. The author-turned-director is best-known for writing wildly successful web novels in the 2000s, most of which he later adapted to TV or film. And recently, he appeared on a reality TV show in a mentoring role to contestants. Continue to read the full article here


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone