‘Django Unchained’ to Open in China With Less Vivid Blood

Director Quentin Tarantino made what a Sony executive calls "slight adjustments" in the form of smaller splashes of duller-colored blood for the rollout in the country later this week.

HONG KONG -- Django Unchained will open in China in its full-length gory glory -- but the vibrant hue and explosive splatter of the film's bloodshed will be slightly muted for Chinese cinemas, according to the film’s mainland Chinese distributors.

Speaking to Southern Metropolis Daily, Zhang Miao, director of Sony Pictures’ Chinese branch, said director Quentin Tarantino has “agreed on making slight adjustments to the film for different markets -- and this adjustment for him is progress rather than a compromise.”

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“What we call bloodshed and violence is just a means of serving the purpose of the film, and these slight adjustments will not affect the basic quality of the film -- such as tuning the blood to a darker color, or lowering the height of the splatter of blood,” said Zhang. “Quentin knew how to adjust that, and it’s necessary that he is the one to do it. You can give him suggestions, but it must be him who does [the tuning].”

How exactly these adjustments were carried out, on a technical basis, was not discussed. 

The SMD report said the Chinese cut of Django -- which will unspool in the country on Apr. 11 – will be 165 minutes long, the same length as the version released in the U.S. The original version of the film has already been released in Hong Kong, which runs a film classification and censorship system independent from and much more tolerant than that of mainland China.

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Django Unchained will be the first Tarantino film released commercially in mainland Chinese cinemas. The closest he came was with Kill Bill, the martial arts action homage which was actually shot in the country. Tarantino is beginning to get a little traction in China, though: The state-backed Chinese Film Archive will host a one-off screening of Jackie Brown on Apr. 11, and then Robert Rodriguez’s Tarantino-produced Sin City the following day.