It’s no secret that billing order is of huge importance so it’s not really surprising that producers of the movie The Last Wish 小小的愿望 find themselves in hot water right now.
Based on the Korean film The Last Ride, The Last Wish is a touching comedy about a terminally-ill high school student, played by Peng Yuchang, and his two friends, played by Darren Wang and Wei Daxun, who want to help him fulfill his dying wish to become a ‘real’ man.
Peng Yuchang’s studio recently released a statement to indicate that Peng Yuchang signed on to the project as the leading man, yet the order of who gets top billing is muddled. After raising their concern to the production company Hengye Mumaren Media, the company refused to take any action. With this, Peng Yuchang’s team has decided to terminate their contract with Hengye Mumaren Media and let their lawyers handle the rest. Nevertheless, they will continue to support the actor and shoulder his expenses in doing promotions out of respect for the movie.
With the movie scheduled to hit Chinese theaters on September 12, promotions have been ramping up, but the film is wrapped in controversy over the billing order. Fans noted that Peng Yuchang was previously promoted as the leading man and appeared at the center of the poster yet Darren Wang’s name is now in front. Even billionaire heir Wang Sicong trended after expressing his support for the actor. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s unfair. Not to mention, it’s also causing damage to Darren Wang who is getting hate due to accusations that his team probably pulled something.
Peng Yuchang opened up about the matter by releasing a statement. He says that he is aware that the contract termination has brought some confusion and discussion about the film. However, he thinks that The Last Wish is a good movie and a combined effort of the works put in by the cast and crew. One mistake (referring to the production company) shouldn’t sink the entire ship. He also refers to Darren Wang and Wei Daxun as his brothers and denies the rumors of them fighting over billing order.
The production company, perhaps in its desperate attempt to make amends, issued an apology to state that both Peng Yuchang and Darren Wang are considered as the leading man. But it actually fueled more hate since some of Wei Daxun’s fans are now raising their eyebrows saying that their idol should be considered a leading man too. What a good way to make things better, huh? They manage to anger three fandoms now.
I definitely feel bad for the actors caught in this storm as they for sure invested so much in this film. It’s a clear disrespect especially towards Peng Yuchang. The story revolves around his character for crying out loud! Ugh. I just hope that this conflict won’t affect the movie itself.