Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" was set to premiere in China on Thursday, marking the director's first film with a commercial release in China--except that Chinese censors have pulled the movie from theaters.
Deadline first reported the news, which caught Sony Pictures off-guard:
The studio which is releasing the blockbuster film internationally was caught by surprise, prompting studio spokesman Steve Elzer to tell me tonight: “We regret that Django Unchained has been removed from theaters and are working with the Chinese authorities to determine whether the film can be rescheduled.” In some cinemas, screenings were stopped after one minute of footage was shown “because of technical reasons … for the time being,” according to a notice distributed to cinema companies. It quoted unnamed industry insiders as saying that nudity prompted the sudden cancellations despite its official pre-release review.
Despite the nudity, the cancellation has puzzled executives since it comes after the movie had been edited to comply with notoriously stringent Chinese censorship regulations.