Fan Bingbing is reportedly returning to the world of showbusiness with the period drama “Win the World,” a $70 million budgeted television series that will air on the Chinese video service Youku. The news came nearly two years after the high-profile actress was detained by Chinese authorities for tax evasion.
The South China Morning Post reports that Fan will star in the series, which centers on a historical figure from the Qin dynasty that ended in 206 BC. Fan plays Qing, a widow and entrepreneur who helps Yunxiang’s character bankroll the construction of the Great Wall of China. The series, which was thrown into limbo after Fan’s tax evasion scandal, is produced by Talent Television and Film and will co-star Gao Yunxiang. The publication claims the series is the most expensive in China’s history.
“Win the World” was originally expected to air in 2018 but was shelved due to Fan’s legal drama. A former television anchor released documents in May 2018 that suggested Fan was paid via two separate contracts for her work on a 2003 film that totaled $9.4 million. Though Fan originally denied the accusations, she later disappeared from public life for several months before reappearing with an apology and promise to pay financial penalties and return to acting in the future. Variety reported in 2018 that Fan and her companies might have had to pay as much as $129 million.
“Today I’m facing enormous fears and worries over the mistakes I made,” Fan wrote on the social media platform Weibo in 2018. “I have failed the country, society’s support and trust, and the love of my devoted fans…I beg for everyone’s forgiveness.”
Though Fan is best-known for her work in various Chinese-language films and television shows, the actress has appeared in a handful of high-profile Hollywood titles, including 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” where she portrayed the superhero Blink. She also had a cameo in “Iron Man 3,” her first appearance in American cinema.
Fan is also expected to star in Universal Pictures’ “355,” an upcoming spy film that will also star Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, and Sebastian Stan. “355” is expected to premiere on January 15, 2021.