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China Unlikely to OK ‘Suicide Squad’ Release

Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment’s “Suicide Squad,” which is opening in most of the world, appears to be far too dark in tone to receive a release in China.

A spokesman for Warner Bros. declined to comment, but people close to the situation indicated that hopes have faded. The tentpole has not been given a release date in China, making it increasingly unlikely that the film will get approval from Chinese officials.

China Film Group usually issues release dates at least two months in advance of the opening. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issues approvals.

David Ayer directed “Suicide Squad” from his own script about  a secret government agency that recruits imprisoned supervillains to save the world in exchange for clemency. The film stars Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood and Cara Delevingne.

“Suicide Squad” contains enough violence that Mike Birbiglia questioned this week why the MPAA gave his new movie “Don’t Think Twice” an R-rating while allowing “Suicide Squad” a PG-13. “Suicide Squad has machine gun killings and bombings and got a PG-13 rating. @Dontthinkmovie gets an R because adults smoke pot. Confusing?” Birbiglia said in a Tweet.

Warner Bros.’ previous DC tentpole “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was rated PG-13 and saw decent results from China with $95 million, the largest gross outside the U.S. But Fox was unable to get approval earlier this year for its R-rated superhero parody “Deadpool.”

“Suicide Squad” is expected to open to more than $100 million overseas this weekend when it rolls out across 57 markets.

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