(NewsGlobal.com)- In a rare move for Hollywood, late last year, Sony Pictures refused to accommodate the demands of Chinese censors to edit out a scene from the latest Spider-Man movie.
An article at Puck this weekend reported that multiple sources said after Sony submitted Tom Holland’s “Spider-Man: Now Way Home” to China for distribution in 2021, Chinese regulators (AKA censors) had told Sony to remove the Statue of Liberty from the ending of the film if they wanted it shown in China.
The climactic action sequence at the end of the movie shows three Spider-Men battling supervillains all over and around the Statue of Liberty. How could Sony possibly remove it from the scene? That would be like trying to remove the Empire State Building from the end of “King Kong.”
Well, they couldn’t; so they refused.
The Chinese censors then asked if Sony would at least minimize the presence of the Statue of Liberty during the 20-minute sequence. But after considering the second request, Sony decided not to make any changes, knowing full well that refusing to oblige the Chinese would probably mean “Spider-Man: No Way Home” would not be released in China.
And it wasn’t. However, it isn’t clear if China’s censors kept the film out or if Sony decided not to bother with it.
The other two Spider-Man movies by Tom Holland made quite a bit of money in China. The first grossed $116 million while the second grossed $200 million.
However, even without Chinese audiences, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” grossed nearly $1.9 billion worldwide, making it the sixth-highest grossing movie ever.
Back in 2019, Sony also defied China’s censorious demands, backing director Quentin Tarantino’s refusal to cut the controversial Bruce Lee portrayal from his film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
Tarantino’s film was not released in China.
Not all movie studios, however, are willing to forgo the lucrative Chinese market by refusing to bow to China’s censorship demands. Warner Brothers recently agreed to edit out dialogue from the Chinese version of “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” that made references to a same-sex relationship.