Embattled One Direction coming to Bay Area, at least in wax

John Shearer/Invision/AP

John Shearer/Invision/AP

Could Madame Tussauds in San Francisco ask for a better promotion of its new display? Wax likenesses of One Direction’s Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson will be unveiled and on view from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Ghirardelli Square as news surrounding the pop superstars explodes in cyberspace.

Ditching a planned commercial shoot in Hong Kong amid accusations of cheating on his girlfriend, Malik, 22, announced on Thursday he was taking a break from the band’s Asian tour stops. A spokesman said, “Zayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the U.K. to recuperate.”

Another source told news outlets, “Zayn finds it tougher than the rest of his bandmates dealing with fame … the pictures which surfaced with the fan yesterday was the final straw.”

The photos, which showed him holding hands with a blonde outside a nightclub in Thailand, unleashed questions about his loyalty to his fiancee, singer Perrie Edwards. On Twitter, he defended himself, shouting out to “jealous” fans. (But he didn’t tweet “fans.”)

One thing he won’t have to worry about is posting a $5,000 bond in the Philippines in advance of a tour stop in Manila. The country’s Bureau of Immigration asked Malik and Tomlinson to pay the sum — “intended to protect the public interest should the band members commit any violation during their stay” — in light of a 2014 video in which they referred to sharing a joint.

Meanwhile, bookmakers in the U.K. have slashed odds — from 50-50 to 4 to 1 — that this may be the band’s farewell tour. Malik is expected to return for gigs in South Africa next week.

DEEP ‘FRAGGLE’ ROLE

Joseph Gordon-Levitt — acclaimed by hipsters and critics for his roles in “Brick,” “Don Jon” and, likely, Oliver Stone’s upcoming thriller “Snowden” based on Edward Snowden — has a new project in the works: a live-action version of “Fraggle Rock.”

In an interview with Variety, he called Jim Henson’s characters Oscar the Grouch, Yoda and the Fraggles “layered, surprising and wise” and said of the late Henson, “I’ve never stopped loving his work, even as a young frisky man, and on into adulthood.”

QUICK TAKES

President Barack Obama told Prince Charles that Americans like the British royal family more than their own politicians in a meeting at the White House on Thursday. … Rapper Chris Bridges, aka Ludacris, posed for an awkward photo opportunity with potential GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush at the Georgia statehouse.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Actress Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) is 57. … Director Spike Lee (“Oldboy”) is 58. … Author Louis Sachar is 61. … Actor William Hurt (“Body Heat”) is 65. — Staff, wire reportFeaturesGossipJoseph Gordon-LevittNiall HoranOne Direction

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