The mainland film “1921” is one of the red films “celebrating” the centenary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. The controversy over the film’s cast and the fact that it is not easy to reshoot because it is close to its release date have put the Chinese Communist Party authorities in a dilemma.
Directed by Huang Jianxin, “1921” will be scheduled for a nationwide release on July 1. The film is produced by Shanghai Film Group, with partners including Tencent Pictures and two agencies under Xinhua News Agency, and is listed as a key project of the Communist Party’s Ministry of Propaganda and the State Film Bureau.
The film features a cast of more than 100 actors and actresses, and the main characters are mostly first-line stars. When the full cast posters came out, most of the film’s casting was so far removed from the historical figures that, in addition to many of them being talent idols, many of them had no representative works and some had even negative press, triggering a firestorm of criticism from netizens.
The film has been involved in a casting controversy before. In January, Zheng Shuang, the actress who played the role of early Chinese Communist Party leader Xiang Xiangyu, was banned by authorities after it was revealed that she was a surrogate and abandoned her family, and her name was removed when the film’s female character posters were released on March 8.
On May 13, the film’s latest release was a batch of character side posters. And playing young Mao Zedong is the idol boy group R1SE team member Yan Shujia, more scandalous pile.
Yanxujia was picked up for his chaotic private life, cheating during his relationship, and also exploded for his disrespect to people around him, teammates, and staff. He also has no film or television work, nor is he from a scientific class. In addition, Zhu Yilong, who plays Zhou Enlai, was once exposed for having a child in a hidden marriage, cheating on the crew, and returning three generations to the clan.
According to an article in Hong Kong’s Tuan Media, netizens began calling for a boycott of “1921” (the movie has already been shot and is only a month or so away from release, so it is apparently unlikely that a reshoot with a different cast will be possible, and it would be difficult to remove Mao’s scenes), and pushed the topic onto Weibo’s hot search.
After May 16, the discussion has been completely silenced, but some Internet practitioners believe that the controversy is likely to flare up again when the film is officially released. The controversy is likely to erupt again.
A commentary article in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily Long Ping pointed out that Zheng Shuang had already made the movie. Because of her inferiority, the audience will see the “great party history”, Xiang Xiangyu story will be deleted a lot. But who dares to delete Mao Zedong’s scenes and how? Temporary find actors to reshoot? Obviously too late. Besides, who can be sure that they have not fallen in love or even cheated on each other? The film production team fell into silence. The publicity department was busy deleting posts.