Haute Living Honors Richard Gere With Rolls-Royce And Hublot (Photo : Getty Images)
Since a lot of Hollywood producers now consider the Chinese film market when making movies, the situation is seen by actor Richard Gere as the reason why he had not made a big Hollywood blockbuster movie in 10 years.
Richard recalled a recent incident when someone told him that they would not finance a film if he is cast because it would upset the Chinese who have been co-producing movies with Hollywood studios. China’s dislike for Richard stems from his speech in 1993 during the Oscar awards, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Horrendous Human Rights Situation in China
While he was presenting the nominees for the art-direction category, the “Pretty Woman” actor drew attention to the “horrendous, horrendous human rights situation” in China. It also does not help that Richard is a practicing Tibetan Buddhist and a friend of the Dalai Lama whom Beijing also despises.
Four years after he made the remark, Richard starred in 1997 in the film “Red Corner.” His role was an American businessmen who was wrongfully accused of murder in China. While he said everyone was happy with the movie which he was promoting, MGM, the producer, told him to stop the promotions for the film. At that time, MGM was negotiating with the Chinese who threatened not to buy the rights to the movie, News.com.au reported.
MGM released the movie which got mixed reviews. But the critics liked “Red Corner” which gave Richard and Jon Avnet the 1997 National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award.
The actor, given the situation, is now sticking to movies made by smaller but independent productions that do not aim for the Chinese market such as the upcoming film “Norman.” However, once, a Chinese director working for an indie producer had to back out of the movie or remove Richard from the cast because the director's family and his career were threatened.
But the actor is not affected financially by the lack of a big Hollywood film because his net worth is estimated at $250 million. The influence being exerted by Chinese film producers in terms of content, which the U.S. Congress has expressed alarm over, appears to have some basis.