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

China cancels release of Tarantino film over portrayal of Bruce Lee

China cancels release of Tarantino film over portrayal of Bruce Lee

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.

Chinese authorities are rumored to have blocked the release of Once Upon a Time after Shannon Lee, the daughter of martial-arts actor Bruce Lee, contacted Beijing film officials to complain about the way her late father is depicted in the movie.

Whatever the reason behind it, the cancellation is clearly a major blow to Sony's box office prospects, as the studio was banking on the OUATIH's Chinese release to bring the film's $366 million current worldwide totals over $400 million. The film was heavily edited and re-released a month later, by which time pirated versions of the original were already widespread in China. 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.

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Check out IGN's review of Tarantino's film in the video below. This issue isn't related to the political situation in China, of course, but it does come at a tenuous time for China-Hollywood relations.

THR said Bona's equity stake in "Once Upon a Time" was large enough to give the Beijing-based backer participation in its worldwide box office and distribution rights in Greater China. A re-edited version of Django Unchained was pulled from theaters on its opening day, though a subsequent version of the film was eventually released theatrically in China.

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