World War Z being changed to appease Chinese censors

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Our report yesterday about the PG-13 World War Z barely having blood in it was not a joke. And neither is this: The Wrap reports that Paramount will be changing some story elements in World War Z in order to get past the Chinese film board and secure a release in that country. Sources with The Wrap say that any reference to the zombie outbreak originating in China will now be changed to another country. (Sorry, Turkmenistan. No hard feelings.)

China has the second-largest box office in the world behind the United States, and is expected to become the top market by the end of the decade. Since the bloated, neutered, out-of-control World War Z costs around $175 million and required seven weeks of reshoots to get to this awful point, every buck counts.

You may remember that the Red Dawn remake faced a similar choice to secure a Chinese release, replacing the invading Chinese army with the North Korean army (who surprisingly weren’t absurdly short and emaciated due to a generation of famine). Extensive cuts were made to Cloud Atlas last year for similar reasons, though the Chinese cut of Iron Man 3 will have some China-friendly extras, like doe-eyed actress Fan Bingbing.

How do you feel about China’s influence when it comes to international releases?

[Via The Wrap]