March 11th, 2012

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Stephen Chow's company in contract tussle with "Kung Fu Hustle" star



Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Chow's "Kung Fu Hustle" co-star Bruce Leung recently lashed out at Chow's film company Star Overseas over a contractual dispute, reported Hong Kong media.

Leung, who plays the evil martial arts expert The Beast in "Kung Fu Hustle", claimed that Star Overseas had breached the terms of the management contract he had signed with them and often took an inordinately large cut of his earnings.

"That year, he (Chow) personally called me and asked me to sign with him. His sincerity convinced me and I agreed to sign on for three years.

"Who knew his company would take a commission at a 'seafood rate' (a rate that varies wildly) and really took a big cut. It's outrageous!" said Leung.

"When I asked to see the contract, they (Star Overseas) said they couldn't find it!"

The 64-year-old actor, who also appeared in the critically acclaimed 2010 film "Gallants", expressed he had asked to terminate his contract after just a year because of these complications.

"I'll just take it as a lesson," Leung said.

In response to Leung's allegations, a spokesperson for Star Overseas said they take a percentage of Leung's earnings "according to the contract and not according to a 'seafood rate'", pointing out that the company did not lose the contract and could show Leung a copy.

Star Overseas went on to refute Leung's claims that he terminated his contract early, clarifying that it simply expired.

Chow's film company has been involved in a number of contractual disputes with its artistes to date.

Chinese actress Eva Huang, who worked with Chow in 2004's "Kung Fu Hustle", left Star Overseas after an unhappy legal tussle over contractual issues, as did Kitty Zhang, who starred alongside Chow in his 2008 film "CJ7".

CNA