Controversial pic lensed almost two years ago

BEIJING — The Weinstein brothers’ first Asian production, “Shanghai,” will screen in China in mid-June, almost two years after lensing wrapped on the controversial project.

“Shanghai,” starring John Cusack, Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li and Ken Watanabe, and helmed by Mikael Hafstrom movie, is about an American spy probing a death in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Pic has been dogged by controversy. The Film Bureau shut down production in Shanghai, even though a reported $1 million had already been spent, for unspecified political reasons, probably related to the pic’s historical element. While China has been keen to encourage co-productions with Western shingles, shutting down “Shanghai” did major damage to China’s reputation as a place to make movies. Pic ended up shooting in London and Bangkok.

Ge Yu, a spokesperson for the local distribs Huayi Brothers, told Variety that the pic had cleared the censors without any edits.

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