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'Shanghai' surprise: China nixes film

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Johncusack_l

Johncusack_l After years of false starts, Weinstein Co.’s China-based 1940s drama Shanghai has hit another roadblock. The film, starring John Cusack (pictured), Gong Li, Ken Watanabe, and possibly Chow Yun-Fat (the actor is in discussions for a role), was set to film in China next month, but sources close to the production say the government pulled permits on seven Western films, including Shanghai, earlier this week. No official reason was given, but it’s believed the political maelstrom over the graphic sexuality in Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution (which filmed in China) threw the government into damage-control mode. Shanghai’s crew is hoping to resume negotiations with China’s film office but is also scouting locations in other parts of Asia. Producer Mike Medavoy, who spent the first seven years of his life in the titular city, says, “We have the greatest respect for China, and Shanghai will look to capture and celebrate this great country.”

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