“Deadpool,” the superhero film that China previously blocked, is to get its premiere in the Middle Kingdom next month at the Beijing International Film Festival. The 2018 edition of the festival runs April 15-22.
To the disappointment of Chinese fans, who were already aware of the Fox film, the 2016 movie was not given import approval by Chinese regulators and failed to be included as part of the annual revenue sharing quota. No explanation was provided by regulators, though many in the industry concluded that the film was too sexy and too subversive for the regulators’ definition of mainstream acceptability. China has no film rating system and requires all films to be suitable for audiences of all ages.
Contacted by Variety, sources close to Fox confirmed the film’s selection and denied that it would be edited at the request of censors. “All festival films should play in original version,” the source said.
“Deadpool” will play as part of the Beijing Film Panorama section, which comprises “outstanding, classic and rarely seen films.” The festival Saturday announced other films in the section, which will include a black-and-white version of “Logan” and the first and second “X-Men” trilogies. Logan was released in China, despite concerns about violence, and earned $106 million.
Others in the section include “Avatar,” “Titanic,” “It,” “Get Out,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and a restored version of Akira Kurosawa’s “The Seven Samurai.”
The festival revealed that a jury including China-friendly U.S. director Rob Cohen, Chinese actor Duan Yihong, Taiwanese actress Shu Qi, Polish composer Jan Kaczmarek, Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer, and Ruben Ostlund, director of Palme d’Or-winning “The Square,” will decide the winners of the competition section and hand out 10 Tiantan Awards. The jurors join the previously announced jury president, Wong Kar-wai.
Aside from the Panorama and competition elements, the festival will comprise sections including “Forward Future” documentaries; online film; film concerts; film salon; and one for new releases.