Quentin Tarantino says he won't recut 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' for China

Ben Arnold
American writer and film director Quentin Tarantino pose for photographers prior to the premiere of the movie 'Once Upon A Time in Hollywood' in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Quentin Tarantino (Credit: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Quentin Tarantino is refusing to recut his latest movie Once Upon A Time In Hollywood for China.

The director won't be providing an edited version of the film to world's second biggest movie market, which has requested a some scenes be removed, according to Variety.

It's not known exactly which scenes Chinese censors are targeting, but it emerged on Friday that Shannon Lee, the daughter of Bruce Lee, had made an official complaint about the movie to China’s National Film Administration.

Read more: Bruce Lee’s daughter slams Tarantino

Shannon Lee slammed the movie on its release in the US, claiming that the depiction of her father in scenes in which the martial arts icon tussles with Brad Pitt played him out to be an 'arrogant a**hole who was full of hot air'.

Lee remains a heroic figure in China, and on Friday a source told Variety that the release of the film had been 'temporarily put on hold'.

The source added: “As long as Quentin can make some cuts, it will be released as planned.”

However, this now looks unlikely.

Brad Pitt and Mike Moh in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Credit: Sony)
Brad Pitt and Mike Moh in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Credit: Sony)

Following the furore over Lee's role in the film (played by Mike Moh), Tarantino defended his position, telling reporters while promoting the film's release in Russia in August: “Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy. The way he was talking, I didn’t just make a lot of that up.”

But the director has had previous run-ins with the Chinese censors before, which are likely to make him less keen to play ball.

The authorities pulled Django Unchained from cinemas just a fews into its release with concerns over the film's violence.

Read more: Bruce Lee’s former protege on Once Upon A Time In Hollywood row

On that occasion, Tarantino agreed to have the film edited and re-released, however, it then went on to flop disastrously, making only $2.7 million in China.

It appears that the director is now less keen to do the same, particularly as he has 'final cut privilege' as part of the release deal with Sony Pictures.

Thus far, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which tells the story of a fading TV actor, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and his best friend and stunt double (Pitt) through the lens of late 1960s Los Angeles, has made $366.8 million worldwide.