Chinese director Chen Kaige's (陳凱歌) mega-budget epic The Promise (無極) finally hits Taiwan screens this weekend accompanied by a non-stop publicity campaign that aims to make sure everybody in Chinese-speaking countries knows the movie is coming to theaters near them.
Chen is highly protective of his latest creation and reportedly lost his temper when asked how he would feel if the box office receipts didn't go well. "It's like you are asking whether my new-born baby would die or not," Chen shouted at the reporter who posed the question.
Chen's actress wife Chen Hong (陳紅) is also busy fighting a war against Hong Kong actress Sandra Ng (吳君如), whose director boyfriend Peter Chan (陳可辛) is in competition with Chen Kaige for an Oscar with the musical Perhaps Love (如果愛). Ng publicly slated The Promise. Chen Hong retaliated by telling Ng to shut her big mouth.
Special attention has also been given to the real life lovers-turned-strangers Cecilia Cheung (張柏芝) and Nicholas Tse (謝霆鋒). The two leading actors of The Promise kept an icy distance from each other throughout a promotional trip for the film. They didn't exchange words or eye-contact, and sometimes maneuvered Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada to stand between them as a human shield.
The most outrageous piece of showbiz gossip this year is the rumor of a fake romance between ABT musician Wang Lee-hom (王力宏) and chairman of the Yulon Group Kenneth Yan (嚴凱泰). Speaking on her TV show, hostess Lee Ming-yi (李明依) broke the rumor that Wang was Yan's kept man and the reason why the secret hadn't been leaked was because Yan had spent NT$60 million to seal the media's lips. The China Times picked up on the rumor and turned it into a one-page spread. The wealthy entrepreneur chose not to respond, while the doll-face star was totally pissed and filed lawsuits against the TV station and newspapers involved.
On the other hand, local teen idol Zheng Yuan-chang (鄭元暢) seems to be pretty open-minded about his alleged love affair with fellow pretty boy He Jun-xiang (賀軍翔). Both the subjects of desire in the eyes of the local gay community, Zheng and He are frequently put together as the most eye-pleasing gay couple. "We will let everybody know if we are going to marry," Zheng quipped, as quoted in the Liberty Times.
The biggest break-up news of the week is that of Mando-pop singer Wang Xin-ling (王心凌) and actor Wing Fan's (范植偉) failed relationship. Though the two never admitted they were an item, Wang came forward last week to thank the media for voicing concern about Fan's indiscretions.
The actor in question had cut off all contact with the outside world and refused to comment on the faded love.
As this year comes to an end, local media rounded up the annual incomes of Taiwan's stars and put out a list of the greatest moneymakers of the year. Jay Chou (周杰倫) won first place with an income of NT$254 million in the singer category, while Shu Qi (舒淇) becomes the wealthiest actress having raked in NT$50 million.
Local funny man Jacky Wu (吳宗憲) was crowned as the TV host champion and sits on a fat pile of NT$113 million. The intellectual-turned-TV host Tsai Kang-yong (蔡康永) surprisingly came in fourth in the category.