The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
A sequel to the 2000 Oscar-winning martial arts film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is slated for simultaneous release in theaters and on Netflix in February 2016, during Spring Festival. It is a Chinese-American co-production directed by Hong Kong filmmaker Yuen Woo-ping. Ang Lee, the director of the original “Crouching Tiger,” has no interest in producing a sequel, according to China Daily.
Southern Weekly reporter Li Wei’ao has posted the first page of censorship instructions for “Crouching Tiger II” to Weibo:
State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) Department of Film Management
Notice of New Project
China Film Co-Production Corporation:
The script and other materials related to your company’s notice of intent produce the feature film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Legend” as a joint investment among the China Film Co. Ltd., Pegasus Taihe Entertainment Inc., The Weinstein Company LLC, and Bliss Media Ltd. have been received and read.
According to the “Regulations for Filing of Movie Scripts (Synopses) and Film Management” (SAPPRFT No. 52), your new project has been approved, with the following amendments and adjustments to the script:
- Regarding descriptions of the “White Lotus Society,” the name must be replaced with a made-up martial arts faction.
- We advise you to downplay “Oppose the Qing, Restore the Ming” content.
- In fight scenes, you must take care to control the amount of gore and violence.
- On page 38 of the script, Yu Xiulian’s line “A superior army breaks its enemy without fighting,” should be corrected to “The army which breaks its enemy without fighting is the superior one.” [Chinese]
The first two revisions temper the depiction of political factions from China’s imperial past. The White Lotus Society started as a secret religious sect under the rule of the Yuan Dynasty. The farmer Zhu Yuanzhang rose through their ranks to lead the conquest of the Yuan and the founding of the Ming Dynasty, which he ruled from 1368 to 1398. The White Lotus Society was also blamed for a rebellion against the Qing government at the turn of the 19th century.
The fourth comment corrects a line which misquotes Sunzi’s “Art of War”.
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Legend” is part of a growing trend in Hollywood to co-produce films with Chinese studios in the hopes of being exempt from China’s annual quota on foreign films, reaching the world’s second largest box office, and increasing the portion of revenue shared. The Weinstein Company, the American studio partnering on the film, has previously run into problems working in China independently. At The Hollywood Reporter, co-chairman Harvey Weinstein recently discussed the seven-year shelving of the film “Shanghai” due to disagreements with Chinese authorities.
Translation by Nick.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.