2018 was not a good year for the companies behind The Legend of Ba Qing. The Chinese drama had finished filming in September 2017, but while it was being edited for television, its two lead actors, Fan Bingbing and Gao Yunxiang (also known as Gavin Gao), got caught up in their own respective scandals, one after the other.
Now, it appears that the companies behind The Legend of Ba Qing are eager to shake off their association to their now-disgraced stars. On Tuesday (Oct 8), one of its production companies, Zhejiang Talent Television & Film, announced that scenes involving the lead actors will be reshot and replaced with “A-list actors” using face-swapping technology. The drama will also be renamed Win The World.
The reshoot is estimated to cost RMB60 million (approximately S$11.6 million), and is scheduled to wrap up before the end of the year. However, this move was not well-received by fans, who are worried that the face-swapping will end up looking awkward and unnatural.
The drama’s troubles began when Yunxiang was accused of sexual assault in March 2018 in Australia, where he was filming another upcoming drama. While he has maintained his innocence, the court case against him has yet to conclude.
The 37-year-old was also placed under a travel ban and has been unable to leave Australia since March last year. With the court case still underway, things are not looking good for the now-divorced actor.
A month later, reports were published speculating that The Legend of Ba Qing might be reshooting the scenes involving Yunxiang. However, this was later denied by Yunxiang’s management agency.
Then, in January this year, it was revealed that the distributor of the drama series has applied to freeze all monetary assets under Yunxiang’s name, as they sought to sue the actor for delaying the broadcast of drama.
Things were not looking good for Bingbing either. In late May last year, the actress was caught up in accusations that she had signed yin-yang contracts in an attempt to evade taxes. The 38-year-old later disappeared from the public eye for three months, sparking rumours that she had been placed under house arrest by the authorities.
A few months later, in October, it was reported that she had been handed a S$95 million fine for evading taxes. Since then, she has been making her return to showbiz, one step at a time.