A source close to the development told Variety that the release was halted because action superstar Bruce Lee's daughter filed a complaint in the China's National Film Administration about the on-screen depiction of her late father. The Quentin Tarantino comedy-drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt would be the filmmaker's first proper release in China, but a week before Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was set to debut in theaters, regulators abruptly reversed course.
The movie presents Lee - who, as the movie's only major actor of Chinese descent, is played by Mike Moh - as a boastful character who asserts he could have "crippled" Muhammad Ali in a fight.
Lee's daughter, Shannon, has been vocal in her criticisms of the portrayal, calling the depiction "disheartening" and a "mockery".More news: Here's a cheaper Oppo Reno 2 option priced under RM1,600
Tarantino countered that his depiction was fair, saying that based on research he had done before writing the scene, Lee was "kind of an arrogant guy".
China ranks as the world's second-largest movie market, and Hollywood studios clamor to get their biggest titles on Beijing's approval list. This is even worse news for the Bona Film Group, the Beijing financier who owns a stake in the film's worldwide box office and the Chinese distribution rights.
In that case, Django Unchained was recut and returned to Chinese theaters a month later.More news: Hillary Clinton Claims Russians ‘Grooming’ Tulsi Gabbard as Third-Party Candidate
According to Variety, Quentin Tarantino's flick, which was due to hit theatres October 25 after receiving approval from Chinese censors, has been "temporarily put on hold".
The absence of a China release will likely hurt the movie's global box office haul.More news: White House Hopeful Sanders Gets Endorsements From Star Progressives