The Chinese release of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been abruptly cancelled, following an appeal by Bruce Lee’s daughter over the film’s controversial depiction of her father.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Shannon Lee directly appealed to China’s National Film Administration to pull the film’s release and demand that Tarantino edit the film to depict her father in a more positive light.
As a result of Lee’s appeal, the 25 October release of the film has been indefinitely put on hold, with the film’s Chinese backers Bona Film Group “frantically working with Tarantino” to alter the film.
The work is described as “a last-minute scramble” that has seen Tarantino and Bona editing the film in a rush in order to get release approval from the National Film Administration. If they sign off on the changes, the 25 October release date may stick.
Shannon Lee publicly condemned Tarantino in July, when she said that she felt the film depicted her father as a “caricature” and an “arrogant a**hole who was full of hot air”.
She also said that it was a shame that he wasn’t depicted as “someone who had to fight triple as hard as any of those people did to accomplish what was naturally given to so many others”.
She added that her experience of watching the film was “uncomfortable”, as she had to listen to people “laugh at my father”.
In the film, Bruce Lee is played by actor Mike Moh and depicted as an arrogant Hollywood newcomer who challenges Brad Pitt’s stuntman character to a fight, only to be thrown into a parked car.
Tarantino himself claimed that the depiction was fair, calling Lee “kind of an arrogant guy”, based on the research he conducted in advance of writing the scene.
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Prior to its cancellation, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Chinese release would have marked the first time a Tarantino movie had been widely released in cinemas in the country.
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