Did Sony Appease China With Scene Changes?

Viewers of Sony's sci-fi remake Total Recall might wonder why the Australia setting of the film's worker colony has a distinctly Asian feel. Sources say the dingy, teeming metropolis was located in "New Asia" in the shooting script by Mark Bomback and Kurt Wimmer, but the location of the colony was downplayed by the studio and director Len Wiseman without needing significant reshoots. In addition, the film's transglobal elevator centerpiece, which moves Colin Farrell and co-stars from the United Federation of Britain to the colony in mere minutes, is said to have originally been dubbed "The China Fall" but was renamed the more apolitical "The Fall." Why? One source tells THR that Sony made the changes so as not to anger the powerful China Film Group, the government-backed entity that maintains a huge say over which Hollywood movies play in the lucrative market. Sony has enjoyed a cozy relationship with the CFG. The entities teamed on 2010's Karate Kid reboot and are in business together for a planned Kung Fu Hustle 2. Sony and reps for the director and writers declined to comment but a source close to the film says the Chinese had nothing to do with the changes. The CFG has not announced whether Total Recall, which has grossed a soft $44 million domestic after two weeks of release, will be allowed to play in China.

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