Brian Dowling/© 2019 CTMG, Inc.(NEW YORK) — Despite China delaying the release Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, reportedly over its depiction of Bruce Lee, the filmmaker has refused the country’s demand to recut the movie.
The movie had been approved for release in China this coming Friday, but regulators have suddenly changed their minds.
The film has been “indefinitely put on hold,” sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. No explanation was given to Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind the film, as to why, but the insiders say it was in response to a complaint from Lee’s daughter Shannon over the depiction of her late father.
The movie includes a scene in which Brad Pitt’s stuntman Cliff Booth, laughs in the face of Lee, played by Mike Moh, over a comment by Lee saying that he could have “crippled” Muhammad Ali — referred to as Cassius Clay in the film — in a fight. The two then get into a “friendly” contest of who can knock the other down three times without hitting the face. Neither side wins, but Pitt appears to have an edge near the end, after throwing Lee into the side of a classic car.
According to THR, Tarantino “is taking a take-it-or-leave-it stance in the wake of Chinese regulators pulling the film from the schedule a week before its release in the country October 25.”
The film, which co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s a huge star in China thanks to 1997’s Titanic, has earned $366 million to date and would likely have topped the $400 million mark after opening in China.
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