Chinese censors cut 40 minutes from Cloud Atlas

Nearly a quarter of the film is axed for its premiere in Beijing

The Chinese version of Tom Hanks blockbuster 'Cloud Atlas' has been edited to remove nearly 40 minutes of footage.

The film, joint directed by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, ran for 130 minutes at its unveiling in Beijing, with the international version running at 169 minutes.

[Related story: Censored version of Skyfall opens in China]

Cloud Atlas... 40 minutes removed from Chinese version (Copyright: Warner Bros)

Speaking about the cuts, the directors said that they appreciated the 'constraints' of the market and that they trusted the Chinese co-producers and their editing.

One Chinese newspaper reported that some 'passionate love scenes' had been removed from the film.

It's also thought that the central relationship, between Ben Wishaw and James D'Arcy, is likely to have been altered, with same-sex relationships a taboo in China.

“Chinese audiences might want to see more of a popcorn movie, and considerations for the Chinese market were made in the making of the Chinese version of the film,” said Qiu Huashun, CEO of Chinese co-producer Dreams of the Dragon Pictures.

It's the second recent release into the Chinese film market that has seen censorship from the authorities.

Bond film 'Skyfall' saw the removal of the shooting of a Chinese doorman, and references to prostitution and torture by the Chinese authorities.