×

China Halts Release of Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has had its upcoming China theatrical release put on hold.

The film was originally set to hit theaters in the Middle Kingdom on Oct. 25 after having received approval from Chinese censors. But an exhibitor source told Variety that the movie has been “temporarily put on hold” because the daughter of Bruce Lee has filed a complaint to China’s National Film Administration about the on-screen depiction of her late father, a hero to many Chinese. The film contains a scene in which Brad Pitt’s stuntman character challenges a ridiculously boastful young Lee to a fight and easily tosses him aside.

“As long as Quentin can make some cuts, it will be released as planned,” the source said.

A source with China’s Bona Film Group, which put substantial financial backing behind “Once Upon a Time,” also confirmed that the film had been temporarily pulled from release.

There has been no word from Chinese film officials, but the news is now making the rounds of social media in China. One fan outraged by the decision wrote: “Unbelievable. In the future I’ll never watch go watch movies in the theaters again. There’s absolutely nothing good to watch.”

Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” received a release in China in 2012. But its outing was halted in the first days of release, apparently due to an official rethink about its level of graphic violence. The film was heavily edited and re-released a month later, by which time pirated versions of the original were already widespread in China.

Bona Film Group’s deal with Sony Pictures on a limited slate of films gave it a share of equity ownership and the distribution rights to “Once Upon a Time” in China. Bona executives Yu Dong and Jeffrey Chan appear in the film’s opening credits as executive producers.

But because the film did not shoot in China and did not feature significant amounts of Chinese cast, it did not have full co-production status. That means the film was almost certainly brought into China on a flat-fee rather than revenue-sharing basis.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Minions Rise of Gru

    'Minions: Rise of Gru,' 'Sing 2' Release Dates Pushed Back, 'Wicked' Indefinitely Delayed

    Universal Pictures is shaking up its release calendar, setting new dates for Illumination’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and “Sing 2.” The “Minions” sequel will now hit theaters next summer, on July 2, 2021. “Sing 2,” originally set to open on that date, has been pushed to Dec. 22, 2021, leaving “Wicked,” an adaptation of [...]

  • Former Hulu Chief Jason Kilar Named

    Former Hulu Chief Jason Kilar Named CEO of WarnerMedia

    Former Hulu chief Jason Kilar has been named CEO of WarnerMedia, giving him oversight of Warner Bros., HBO, the Turner cable assets and the company’s nascent HBO Max streaming platform. Kilar succeeds John Stankey, who was upped in September to AT&T president and chief operating officer. Kilar’s name had surfaced as a contender for the [...]

  • Cargo

    'Cargo': Film Review

    Another word for “Cargo,” a truly unique blend of Hindu mythology and mid-concept science fiction about a futuristic new process by which the recently deceased are beamed onto a spaceship far away in order to have their memories wiped and their souls cleansed for reincarnation, might be “baggage” — as in, dead people show up [...]

  • HTC Headset

    Taiwan Launches Int'l Grant Scheme to Boost VR Content Production

    Taiwan has launched a grant scheme to boost the island’s status as a global hub for virtual reality production. It is offering finance to projects co-produced by companies established in Taiwan and internationally, but excluding those from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. The three-year Immersive Content Grant for International Joint Ventures or Co-Productions under [...]

  • Extinction

    Coronavirus Causes 85% Crash in Asia Box Office

    Theatrical box office in the Asia-Pacific region tumbled a massive 85% in the first two months of the year. The coronavirus caused cinema closures, audience hesitation, and a halving of the number of film releases. Asia is home to the five of the top ten cinema markets outside North America. According to data from the [...]

  • Lindsay Lindenbaum on 'Tomboy,' Female Drummers,

    How 'Tomboy' Filmmaker Used SXSW Cancellation to Fine-Tune Her Film

    “Tomboy” filmmaker Lindsay Lindenbaum spent five years following four female drummers trying to make it in a male-dominated world. Lindenbaum profiles Bobbye Hall, a drummer who started at Motown Records in the late ’60s and later toured with Bob Dylan. Samantha Maloney, whose obsession with MTV’s “Headbangers Ball” as a teenager led her to fall [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content