Chinese fans of Deadpool are out of luck when it comes to seeing the new movie based on the character next month. Censors in that country failed to approve the film for showing in theaters there, due to the movie's R-rated content.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that decision with the China Film Group: Deadpool isn't allowed in China. According to the Chinese, Deadpool has too much graphic language, nudity and violence for that country's audiences.
China's censors did offer to work with Fox to create a cleaner version of the movie, but that wasn't an option because the company decided that cutting the movie down to something more acceptable to the Chinese would sacrifice the film's plot.
This comes right after a petition began surfacing online for a PG-13 cut of the film that would make the movie more kid-friendly. Of course, fans long familiar with the "Merc with the Mouth" laughed at such efforts, because even in the comic books, Deadpool was often a more adult character than his Marvel counterparts. Star Ryan Reynolds even bragged about the movie's adult rating last year, before it was made official.
Unlike the U.S., China does not have a ratings system, but its State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) makes decisions on how appropriate a film is for its moviegoing public. China is notorious for banning books, movies and anime in its country, allowing its people to only see what it deems acceptable.
Meanwhile, Deadpool will probably do big business in the U.S. and other countries because of its graphic content. But Marvel could ultimately suffer huge losses if the film doesn't show in China, the world's second-largest theatrical market. Last year's Avengers: Age of Ultron made over $200 million in China, with other titles — such as Guardians of the Galaxy — taking in more than $96 million in that country.
Reynolds recently stated in an interview with Total Film that the movie would not disappoint fans who are already familiar with Deadpool's brand of humor, language and violence, but noted they also made the film to entertain those who are new to the character.
"All anyone cares about in this process is making Deadpool work as much for the fanboys as it does for the uninitiated," said Reynolds. Whether you're a die hard fan or a newbie, you're not going to want to miss this: "I can't wait to unleash it. We're so, so psyched. You're definitely going to be happy, that much I can promise...."
Deadpool lands in theaters Feb. 12 in North America.