UPDATE, 10:49 AM: Sony Pictures just announced that China is going to give Django Unchained another bow in theaters. This time, maybe it’ll even screen all the way through. The studio releasing the Quentin Tarantino actioner about race relations issued this announcement this morning: “We are delighted that audiences throughout China will be able to experience Django Unchained beginning Sunday, May 12th. There is tremendous excitement, anticipation and awareness for the film and we thank the local authorities for quickly resolving this issue.” On April 11, Django was booked into theaters around China only to be pulled within minutes into screenings without an official explanation. It has taken Sony and Chinese officials all this time to complete negotiations.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, APRIL 11: Sony Pictures wants to know why Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained was pulled from movie theaters on the first day of its Thursday release in China. 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. For instance, the film’s graphic violence survived that review except for some minor tweaks — like the blood colored darker and its spatter slightly lessened, according to Sony Columbia executive Zhang Miao who told local press. It’s well known that China is very arbitrary over the release of films with sexual and political content and also limits Hollywood film distribution to protect its own theatrical industry. Django Unchained was going to be Tarantino’s first film with a commercial release in China.