Just yesterday, we learned that Quentin Tarantino’s film Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood would not be receiving a release in China. For some unknown reason, the film had its distribution in the country canceled at the last minute by distributor Sony Pictures. Many are speculating it may have to do with the film’s depiction of the late Bruce Lee, but China hasn’t offered an explanation.
In light of that, Tarantino is holding strong and is refusing to recut the film for the Chinese market. Sources close to The Hollywood Reporter are stating that the director (who is no stranger to controversy) is adopting a “take-it-or-leave-it” stance with regards to his project. Either China accepts it as is, or doesn’t receive the film.
While we’ve already covered the speculation around Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, having a say in pulling the film, other sources suggest that the level of violence in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is to blame. This claim doesn’t hold that much water as the film is one of Tarantino’s least violent movies to date. It seems likely that China is unhappy about the depiction of Bruce Lee, a cultural icon for the country.
I may be upset about how Lee is portrayed in the movie, but that doesn’t mean the film shouldn’t have the right to exist. Tarantino can be a bit of a blowhard, but the man knows how to craft entertainment. Maybe he fudges facts to make some stupid point and often has self-indulgent dialogue, but he’s still making a work of fiction. If China can’t see the difference there, that’s more the country’s fault than the film’s.
Quentin Tarantino Won’t Recut ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood‘ for China (Exclusive) [The Hollywood Reporter]