As China becomes an increasingly important market for films, Hollywood has begun to bend more and more to the will of Chinese viewers and censors by incorporating favored advertisements and actors; apparently they have now even gone so far as to risk damaging the artistic credibility of Adam Sandler.
Figuring that intergalactic aliens blasting a hole in the Great Wall wouldn’t help the film’s chances of getting picked up in China, Sony executives scrapped the scene from their latest film Pixels, according to Reuters citing emails leaked by Sony hackers. However, in the film, aliens are still free to happily blast away at other iconic sites across the world like the Washington Monument and the Taj Mahal. [SPOILER ALERT]
“Even though breaking a hole on the Great Wall may not be a problem as long as it is part of a worldwide phenomenon, it is actually unnecessary because it will not benefit the China release at all. I would then, recommend not to do it,” Li Chow, chief representative of Sony Pictures in China, wrote in a December 2013 email to senior Sony executives.
In order to assure a good reception at the world’s second biggest box office, executives also made a few other minor changes including removing a line pointing to China as being the potential culprit behind the global attack and expunging a reference of a serious cyberattack performed by a “Communist-conspiracy brother.”
Of course, this isn’t really all that surprising. In the past, studios have been known to alter their movies to please Chinese audiences. For instance, Marvel added some totally necessary scenes to Iron Man 3 featuring Fan Bingbing and Wang Xueci exclusively to be shown in China. Sony is just streamlining the process.
The sci-fi comedy staring Adam Sandler was released by Sony Pictures Entertainment this week in the United States. Early reviews are a bit mixed with one reviewer describing the movie thusly: “As executed, it’s like Contact meets Armageddon meets sticking knives into my eyes.”
by Alex Linder