Controversial Hindi film Padmaavat has been banned in Malaysia. The Bollywood epic began worldwide release on Thursday, grossing an estimated $16.8M in India and setting a new record in North America this weekend. The Deepika Padukone-starrer evidently had one screening in Malaysia, but according to local reports was banned by the Film Censorship Board on Saturday because of elements deemed sensitive to the Muslim-majority community. However, the board’s chairman Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz told Malaysia Today that an appeal has been filed and will be reviewed tomorrow. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the film had throughout production and as recently as last week sparked a furor in India, inciting violence and death threats. Based on Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic 16th century poem, there had been confusion over perceived historical inaccuracies and a false rumor that the movie contained offensive sexual content. It ultimately cleared Indian censors with a series of stipulations. Paramount is releasing the Viacom18-produced film in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.
The Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma has set Penelope Cruz as the recipient of this year’s honorary César Award. The ceremony, which doles out France’s equivalent to the Oscar, will be held on March 2. Oscar-winner Cruz has appeared in five films for director Pedro Almodovar, a staple of the Cannes Film Festival. She recently wrapped the next film from Asghar Farhadi, Everybody Knows, which she shot in Madrid with her husband Javier Bardem and which is produced by France’s Memento Films Production. The drama is tipped for a Cannes berth this year. Other recent credits include box office hit Murder On The Orient Express and FX’s The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. The César nominations will be announced on Wednesday.
The Mermaid, xXx: Return Of Xander Cage and Valerian actor Kris Wu has been set as the NFL’s China ambassador for Super Bowl LII. Wu, who is also a singer and music producer, will perform at Super Bowl LIVE, a 10-day fan festival leading up to the big game. The performance will take place on February 3 in Minneapolis. Wu is the first-ever Chinese artist to perform at a Super Bowl event and will act as a draw for his massive fan following that includes over 27M on Weibo and 5.6M on Instagram. Wu’s performance and Super Bowl LII experience will be covered and broadcast in China by Tencent Sports, the exclusive live digital streaming media partner of the NFL in the Middle Kingdom.