When Chinese cinemagoers sit down to watch new James Bond adventure Skyfall, they won’t be seeing exactly the same film as their western counterparts. Censors in China have cut one scene, and changed dialogue in others, in order to protect movie fans’ sensibilities.
A scene in which a Chinese security guard is shot by a hitman in a Shanghai hotel has been spliced out entirely ahead of the upcoming release of the movie.
In another, Daniel Craig’s spy asks Bond girl Bérénice Marlohe whether her tattoo is the result of her induction into a prostitution ring, but subtitles suggest it is simply a sign of her gangster connections.
And later, the translation glosses over an explanation from Javier Bardem’s villain Raul Silva about his torture at the hands of the Chinese authorities, following a mission in Hong Kong.
Sony Pictures in China declined to comment on the changes, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but they are not unique.
In Men in Black 3, scenes featuring aliens disguised as Chinese restaurant staff, and members of the public having their memories wiped by Will Smith’s character, both had to be removed before the film was passed.
Cuts were demanded, too, in Mission: Impossible 3, after shots of dilapidated houses and unkempt lines of washing were thought to reflect badly on China.
And in Pirates of the Carribean sequel At World’s End, Chinese actor Chow Yun-fat’s character was cut out entirely following claims that it was a racial caricature.
The edited version of Skyfall is set for release in China on 21 January.