While fans await the worldwide release of the R-rated anti-hero movie “Deadpool,” it has been banned in China.
China is the biggest Asian market for Hollywood movies nowadays. According to a Los Angeles Times article, China is set to surpass the US as the biggest market for movies by 2017. Movies like “Jurassic World” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” did extremely well at the Chinese box office, thanks to their family-friendly content.
The Chinese reports suggest that due to the excessive graphic content of the film, it would have required lots of cuts which would’ve ruined the artistic integrity and structure of the movie.
The violent content of “Deadpool” is endemic to the comic book source. The “Merc with a Mouth” is infamous for his twisted sense of humor, foul language. The comics are also excessively violent in its depiction of fights and deaths which is also the reason why fans love “Deadpool.” It is unlike the other family-friendly superheroes. The violence depicted is not glossed over but more realistically depicted.
The movie version of “Deadpool” appears very faithful to the comic book source, especially in the character’s portrayal. The only way now would be to re-shoot to the movie, or at least portions of it that are most objectionable to the Chinese censors if it wants a slice of the Chinese box office.
In fact, a petition has been launched by one Grace Randolph of Beyond The Trailer on behalf of a request by an 8-year-old boy named Matthew who is an avid fan of the Marvel character. Matthew wrote a letter to his mother, listing the reasons why she should take him to see this movie. This letter was shared with Beyond The Trailer on YouTube.
The petition and the Chinese ban of the movie may make Fox Studios concerned enough to create an alternate PG-13 international cut. The question is whether the filmmakers will consider spending more money and time on an essentially R-rated property to change its tonality to cater to Chinese fans and 8-year-olds around the world. 20th Century Fox declined to make any comment on the ban.
“Deadpool” hits cinemas beginning February 10 this year.