The decision by the National Communications Commission to rebuke and fine local cable news station TVBS has had unexpected repercussions, with the future of a Hollywood docudrama depicting the life and times of dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) now looking uncertain.
The hush-hush project, jointly financed by TVBS, US-based Fox Atomic and a number of undisclosed financiers, was set to start filming this summer in Guangzhou Province, southern China.
However, the production has been thrown into disarray, with US-based partners of the under-fire broadcaster unnerved by the bad publicity the station received over a recent hoax gangster video.
Taipei Times sources discovered that the project was in the advanced stages of planning, with James Cameron penciled in as director and a stellar cast lined up.
Cameron was said to have been attracted to what he reportedly called an "epic of titanic proportions, worthy of my vision" and the script, apparently vetted by former KMT chairman Lien Chan (
Patrick Stewart, of Star Trek and X-Men fame, has already been cast in the lead role, with Shanghai-born actress Joan Chen (
The Taipei Times has learned that Chinese superstar Gong Li (
Japan's Ken Watanabe was to play Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), with Bob Hoskins lined up for the role of T.V. Soong (宋子文), Madame Chiang's brother-in-law and the Generalissimo's long-time financial henchman, and David Hasselhoff as US secretary of state John Foster Dulles.
A TVBS insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Taipei Times that "the management is seriously concerned about the project's future, and it may die unless the government is willing to step in and help out financially."
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up