Once again, Brad Pitt is releasing cryptic messages — only this time, his words are inspiring excited speculation instead of baffled derision.
The international man of mystery recently joined Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese Facebook-Twitter hybrid, and posted what so far has been his only status update: “It is the truth. Yup, I’m coming…” So Brad Pitt’s planning a trip to China? Not really newsworthy — except for the fact that he was reportedly banned from entering the Chinese mainland after starring in Seven Years in Tibet. At least Pitt’s in good company; Richard Gere, Harrison Ford, and Martin Scorsese have also reportedly been put on a blacklist that prevents them from entering China and/or Tibet.
Seven Years in Tibet tells the tale of an Austrian mountaineer (played by Pitt) who lived in Tibet from 1944 until the nation was invaded by China and subsequently incorporated into the People’s Republic in the early 1950s. The film paints a sympathetic portrait of the 14th Dalai Lama, who is tutored by Pitt’s character, and negatively depicts the Chinese soldiers who descend upon Tibet.
But in the fifteen years that have passed since Seven‘s release, Pitt has starred in a handful of films that have done big box office in China — 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith, for instance, earned $7.5 million there. As if anyone could forget, Pitt is also the current face of Chanel — a luxury brand that no doubt has a huge interest in the Chinese market. And finally, China seems to be easing up on those blacklisted names; Jean-Jacques Annaud, the director of Seven Years in Tibet, saw his own ban lifted last year when he served as the president of the Shanghai International Film Festival’s jury.
So get ready, China: Soon enough, you may get to see Pitt babbling about journeys and dreams and fortune live and in person. Please let us know if you have any idea what he’s talking about.