China’s Zhang Yimou Sues Former Partner

HONG KONG – Top Chinese director Zhang Yimou is suing his former business partner Zhang Weiping to recover $2.43 million (RMB15 million).

According to China’s official news agency Xinhua, the case was presented this week in the Beijing Dongcheng District People’s Court, and relates back to 2009 film “A Simple Noodle Story.”

Zhang Yimou claims that Zhang Weiping’s Hong Kong-based New Picture company agreed to evenly share revenues from the film after deduction of promotion costs.

“A Simple Noodle Story” was a Chinese-language treatment of the Coen brothers “Blood Simple” and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.
Zhang Yimou and Zhang Weiping subsequently went on to make “The Flowers of War” together but split after that film flopped. It was reported to have a budget of $90 million.

After the break with New Picture company, Zhang Yimou shopped himself to many of the major Chinese film groups and landed as artistic director at Le Vision Pictures, the film-making arm of Internet video group Le TV.

He recently enjoyed modest success with Gong Li-starring period romance “Coming Home” and is attached to direct Legendary East’s “The Great Wall.”

He was also recently fined $1.21 million (RMB7.48 million) for breaching China’s one child policy.

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