Pierce Brosnan’s 7 years delayed box office bomb gets 3 Razzie nods

The King's Daughter: Pierce Brosnan stars in trailer

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Alongside this week’s Oscars nominations are those of the worst film awards, the Razzies aka the Golden Raspberries. The likes of Ana de Armas’ Blonde and Jared Leto’s Morbius have received several nominations a piece. Meanwhile, the ceremony have decided to withdraw 12-year-old Firestarter actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong’s nod after a fierce backlash that it was too mean for a child actress. Yet amid the nominations were three for James Bond star Pierce Brosnan’s 2022 movie flop that he shot all the way back in 2014.

The King’s Daughter has been nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Actress for Pirates of the Caribbean’s Kaya Scodelario and Worst Supporting Actress for Fan Bingbing, who disappeared for a time after the production wrapped.

Brosnan was cast in the film as King Louis XIV, an adaptation of the 1997 novel The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N McIntyre, who died in 2019. The sci-fi alternative history book famously beat George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones to the Nebula Award for Best Novel that year.

Set in the 17th century French court, the story follows a relationship between lady-in-waiting Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario) and a mermaid (Fan Bingbing). Producer Michael London acquired the film rights in 1999 only to struggle to get the financial backing for the $40 million movie that probably should have been a $200 million blockbuster. In the end, Chinese studio Kylin Pictures invested $20 million.

According to The Telegraph, after wrapping in May 2014, the newly retitled The King’s Daughter was set for release on April 10, 2015. However, in March of that year, Paramount cancelled the release date without setting up a new one. Rumours abounded that more visual effects work was needed, while others claimed the film was just not good enough to come out. Meanwhile, as The King’s Daughter was put on ice, its Chinese star Fan (Iron Man 3, X-Men: Days of Future Past) suddenly disappeared in July 2018 during an investigation into her tax affairs. 

In October 2018, Fan reappeared after three months of “residential surveillance” and issued a grovelling apology in which she declared how “ashamed and guilty” she felt for “not setting a good example for society and the industry.”

Her statement said: “Today I’m facing enormous fears and worries over the mistakes I made! I have failed the country, society’s support and trust, and the love of my devoted fans! I offer my sincere apology here once again! I beg for everyone’s forgiveness!… Without the party and the state, without the love of the people, there would have been no Fan Bingbing!”

The Chinese government ordered her to pay a fine of $131 million for tax evasion, a penalty that could have led to execution just a decade before. Since then Fan hasn’t worked in China, with her only movie in the following years being The 355, which was a big flop. Her Razzie nomination for Worst Supporting Actress is also for that movie, alongside The King’s Daughter.

Aside from Fan’s involvement in The King’s Daughter making it unviable for the Chinese market, neither of Brosnan’s co-stars Scodelario or Benjamin Walker have gone on to become A-listers to help market the movie, as its post-production limbo continued. However, the film was finally released last year on over 2000 US cinema screens, but the delay in hopes of avoiding a box office bomb failed, not helped by terrible reviews.

The King’s Daughter has a big green splat with just 20 per cent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and a critics’ consensus reading: “A muddled mess that was clearly tinkered with in post-production to little avail, The King’s Daughter is a royal disappointment.” On top of that, the $40 million movie made just $1.8 million at the worldwide box office.

The King’s Daughter is currently not available to stream in the UK but is available on Blu-ray and DVD.


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