Quentin Tarantino will not make a new edit of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for China. Tarantino was all set to have his first proper Chinese debut next week. However, things changed when the country blocked the movie from hitting theaters. According to sources, Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, issued a complaint with China's National Film Administration in an effort to make changes to her father's controversial portrayal in the movie. Shannon Lee and some of Bruce Lee's closest friends have criticized the way Tarantino played with Lee's legacy.
When the news dropped, it was assumed that Quentin Tarantino was working on a new edit of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for Chinese censors. The director has final say on any edits and the Chinese government reportedly has not revealed which scenes they found objectionable at this time. Tarantino will not edit his work, according to sources close to the matter. It is believed that Shannon Lee's complaints are what started China's block against the movie. At the moment, the movie has been placed on hold after having an October 25th release date. The same thing happened with Django Unchained, but it was pulled just minutes before it was due to show in theaters.
Unfortunately, Django Unchained suffered at the international box office as a direct result of the Chinese hold. The movie did eventually officially premiere, but pirated copies of the movie had already started to circulate. It's beginning to look like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will suffer the same fate, which is a huge blow to Beijing's Bona Film Group who financially backed Quentin Tarantino's latest project. The movie has made over $366 million globally to date, and was expected to cross the $400 million threshold after the Chinese premiere.
The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood block comes at heightened time of controversy for China. The Hong Kong protests for democracy have been raging for months now and everybody from the NBA to Hollywood is starting to take sides. With that being said, Hollywood is largely keeping its mouth shut, due to the amount of money that can be made in China. South Park famously took aim at the issue a few weeks back, only to find that the show had completely been scrubbed from the Chinese internet and banned. In turn, this may have hurt the long-running show's attempt to sell its streaming rights, which are currently valued at half a billion dollars.
Quentin Tarantino fans will more than likely applaud the director's decision to not edit Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for China. But, Bona Film Group stands to lose a lot of money from the situation. Whatever the case may be, this will prove to be an interesting time for the entertainment industry and its fragile relationship with China, especially as tensions continue to grow. Variety was the first to report on Tarantino not editing Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for China.