When it rains, it pours for our beloved Harvey Weinstein, assailed on all sides by Star Wars geeks, wayward film critics and now the Chinese government, whose leery rebuke of Western cinema following the art-smut epic Lust, Caution resulted in yanked permits for his forthcoming John Cusack/Gong Li romance, Shanghai. The sudden change of heart after three months of pre-production provoked Harvey to
exotically blow off some steam call an emergency scouting summit in the Far East:
Weinstein, who claims he has good relations with the Chinese government, has gone to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand, which is where he decided to do the bulk of the filming, after 35 days of shooting interiors in Britain.
Producer Mike Medavoy, who spent the first seven years of his life in Shanghai, said, "We have the greatest respect for China, and Shanghai will look to capture and celebrate this great country."
Weinstein and company can't afford bad relations with China, having raised $285 million dedicated to making movies in Asia starring local actors.
Our thoughts exactly, although the Jet Li/Jackie Chan kung-fu fantasy The Forbidden Kingdom isn't the kind of sexy, vaguely political American imposition the Chinese have in mind when evicting Harvey and Co. In any case, we suspect Harvey was shocked to arrive ready for diplomacy only to find Chinese culture minister Sun Jiazheng decked out in a STOP DARTH WEINSTEIN T-shirt given to him by an earlier, unidentified American visitor, who apparently punked him into believing it said WELCOME WEINSTEIN COMPANY. Those Fanboys loyalists — always thinking two steps ahead.