Sources: Nicolas Cage's 'Outcast' Has Chinese Release Date Delayed Again

The medieval action movie will hit U.S. theaters in February, but its Chinese release date has been pulled once more.

Arclight Films' 12th century war romance movie Outcast, starring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen and directed by Nick Powell, has had its release date pulled yet again by Chinese authorities.

Mysteriously yanked at the last minute in September, the China release was subsequently rescheduled for mid-January, shortly before the film's U.S. release on Feb. 6.

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However, sources said the movie's release date had been pulled again, with no new date issued. There is an ongoing crackdown on smut and dissent, but it's not clear whether this is connected to the Outcast delay.

There has been serious bafflement about why Yunnan Film Group (YFG) pulled the film on the eve of its day-and-date domestic and international release in late September. The movie was a co-production with Australian-U.S. production company Arclight, but Arclight had no information as to why the latest setback had occurred.

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There have been a host of theories about why Outcast is being delayed. Some distribution sources said in September that YFG was unhappy with the number of screens made available for the film.

Based on a screenplay by James Dormer (who penned episodes of British TV series Spooks and Strike Back), Outcast revolves around two jaded Crusaders who chose to wander off toward the East, finally arriving in western China, where they become entangled in romance and antagonism with local royalty.

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The picture is a Canada-France-China co-production. It was made in English but qualified as an official Chinese co-production under the guidelines stipulated by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, with Yunnan Film Group providing more than half of the undisclosed budget.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan