'Gone With The Bullets' Chinese Premiere Delayed Over Last-Minute Censorship


The 1920s epic was due to bow on Monday, Dec. 8th, but producers insist it should be ready for its wide opening in 10 days

The premiere of Chinese director Jiang Wen's forthcoming 3D epic Gone With the Bullets has been delayed because of censorship issues, the film's production company, Buyilehu Films, said. But it should be ready for its Dec. 18 launch date.

"There are some new last-minute developments regarding censorship, and we have to take time to make some adjustments, so the premiere will be postponed," the company said in a statement on its WeChat social media page.

Jiang, one of China’s most talented actors and writers, is no stranger to censorship headaches. The one-time bad boy of Chinese cinema, he was banned for seven years from filmmaking after Devils on the Doorstep back in 2000.

Social media was speculating the film wouldn't make the launch date, but producer Ma Ke insisted it would go ahead as planned. "We will take great care until the last minute. We are sure it will not disappoint anyone," he said in a statement.

Many media figures are already in Beijing for the premiere, and the producers apologized for the delay in getting their formal release approval from the Film Bureau.

"We tried our best, but unfortunately, all the conditions are not in place. Thanks for your understanding. We will have the premiere on another date," the company said.

Reportedly, there have already been some adjustments made, such as changing some prostitute characters into less morally suspect dancing girls, and altering some words related to social issues of the time.

A sequel to the wildly successful Let the Bullets Fly in 2010, has currently run up more than $19.5 million in preordered tickets, weeks before its theatrical release.

The film's midnight bow Imax presale tickets have surpassed the same figure for the year's current box-office leader, Transformers: Age of Extinction, producers stated at a recent news conference in Beijing.

Let the Bullets Fly made $117.5 million in 2010.

The movie features Jiang himself, actresses Shu Qi and Zhou Yun, as well as actor Ge You.

Gone With the Bullets, set in Shanghai in the 1920s, is the follow-up, although not exactly a sequel, to Let the Bullets Fly.

In the movie, Ma Zouri, played by Jiang, and Xiang Feitian (Ge) start a beauty contest that ends tragically, and the story runs from there.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan