Sony told China to kick rocks, refused to censor ‘patriotic’ scenes in Spider-Man movie, lost millions by standing their ground

For several years, one of the greatest storylines in Hollywood has been major companies limiting or changing content to satisfy China. However, according to a new claim, at least one amusement organization was not inclined to play this game.


Sony Pictures declined to make adjustments to its 2021 blockbuster “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in order to obtain a broadcast in the Middle Kingdom, according to multiple unidentified insiders who spoke to the Hollywood trade journal Puck.

“Chinese regulators” (China’s National Film Administration reports to the Chinese Communist Union) were reportedly upset by “patriotic” moments in the film’s final action climax near the Statue of Liberty, according to the site. The CCP requested that Sony remove pictures showing Peter Parker and his team of good heroes fighting enemies on top of Lady Liberty. When the Japanese-owned corporation refused, censors demanded that the monument be minimized or sequences containing it be darkened to make it less obvious.

Sony declined once more. As a result, the movie was banned in China, said a report.

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According to analysts, Sony’s choice to forego the lucrative box office potential of the world’s largest movie market lost the movie around $170 and $340 million.

Nonetheless, even without the support of Chinese moviegoers, the web-latest slinger’s film made a fortune. It was the highest-grossing film of 2021 and the third-highest-earning film of all time, earning $800 million domestically, only behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Avengers Endgame.”

While “No Way Home” may be the most significant film that Sony has refused to edit to appease Xi Jinping, it is far from the only one. In 2019, the studio publicly stood by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino after he denied the Chinese government’s request that he rewrite “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which many critics see as his greatest effort. The CCP is said to have objected to the historical drama’s portrayal of Bruce Lee, a Chinese national hero.

While the two-time Academy Award winner is notorious for demanding final-cut rights in all of his deals to prevent studios from meddling with his art, he told Deadline that Sony “totally backed me, 100 percent.” While he was ready to accept modest alterations, he said that “there is a certain limit you cannot cross.” He said that this boundary covered content censorship for political purposes.

Even studios that are known for their willingness to pander to China are making it increasingly difficult to release movies in the nation. When the CCP began delaying launch dates for a variety of Marvel movies, including “Black Widow,” “Eternals,” and “Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings,” a movie that was paradoxically crafted to appeal to Chinese moviegoers in many respects, it sent shockwaves across Hollywood.

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