CCP’s blockade of Zhao Ting escalates Hero film “Eternal Race” may not reach mainland market -Chinese Communist Party tightens control over foreign cultures

Marvel’s two movies may be banned in China for “insulting China”, Hong Kong star Tony Leung’s character “Lord Manchu” involved in “insulting China” (Cantonese group photo)

U.S. superhero movies have always regarded mainland China as an important market, but according to authoritative media reports, “Marvel” (Marvel) two blockbuster films, including the new Oscar-winning Chinese-American director Zhao Ting, may not be released in China. Some critics believe that Hollywood may have a new response in the future in the face of increased Chinese censorship of foreign-language films. (By Gao Feng/Liu Shaofeng)

Variety reports that CCTV 6, the movie channel of China Central Television (CCTV) under the jurisdiction of the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has recently listed eight American films for release in China, but Marvel’s 2021 finale, “Eternals,” will be released in China. The grand finale of “Eternals” is not included in the list. According to a report in Variety, although not being on the list does not mean that the film has been blocked, it does at least indicate that there may have been an “accident” with the film.

Weng Huangde, executive director of the Taiwan Film Critics Association, believes that mainland Chinese audiences are likely to be denied access to the high-profile blockbuster.

I believe Variety will have such a report, and the source is not all from seeing CCTV reports like this,” Weng said. Variety magazine is a very authoritative entertainment media in the United States. There should be a wealth of sources on the American side of the studio. The news that “The Eternals” could not be released could have been spread long ago.

He believes that the blocking of “Eternal Family” is related to Zhao Ting and the deterioration of Sino-American relations.

I think it’s clear that the reason “Eternals” was blocked had a lot to do with Zhao Ting,” Weng said. There are details of China’s censorship system that are not well known to outsiders, such as the censorship process, who is called upon to censor, and almost every year there are new practices, and there may be some adjustments as different people come to implement them and policies change. Zhao Ting’s comments, coupled with the deterioration of U.S.-China relations, may have been ordered by higher-ups to rule out the possibility of the film’s release.

Critics: best not to have any Chinese related themes at all

The “Eternal Family” incident was interpreted as being related to director Zhao Ting’s alleged “insult to China”. In fact, Zhao Ting has become a taboo subject in China. After she won the Oscar, the Chinese media did not mention anything about her, and even her winning film Nomadland was cancelled from the screen.

Also suspected of being blocked by the Chinese Communist Party is another Marvel blockbuster, Shang-chi, which features an unprecedented Chinese superhero, but has been criticized by the Chinese media for “insulting China” in terms of character names, backgrounds, and character designs. “. The outside world also flirted with the male lead Liu Simu’s appearance and the young Xi Jinping “face”.

Weng Huangde estimated that “Comic-Con” has made the worst of the plan.

Weng Huangde said: now the release of information withdrawn, I think not only the official intention, perhaps in the perspective of the film business, if you then go to bet that it has the opportunity to be released, and then withdrawn before the release, the possible loss of the film party may be greater. I think it’s not just the official intention, the studio may also be in a state of abandonment, they do not want to gamble on the release of the film to avoid greater risk.

The two “Marvel” blockbusters in question both contain Chinese elements. The incident sent a clear message to Hollywood, Weng said.

A message from China, for Hollywood, is that it’s better not to have any Chinese related themes at all, good or bad, the Chinese market won’t welcome them,” Weng said. (The movie) “Mulan” did not do as well as expected, and now “Shang Qi” has no clear evidence that it has the intention of vilifying the Chinese, but even the Chinese market can’t accept it anymore.

Weng Huangde believes that if Hollywood wants to continue to maintain good relations with the Chinese market, and if the movie is to be released in the Chinese market, it would be better to downplay the Chinese elements.

Producer: Chinese Communist Party Tightens Controls on Foreign Culture

A Communist Party producer, who asked to remain anonymous, told the station that the blocking of two Hollywood blockbusters reflects China’s tightening grip on foreign culture.

It’s a cultural clampdown,” the anonymous producer said, “because they don’t want outside voices, outside information, to flow into the country, which affects the Communist Party’s so-called stability, which is to intercept all information from outside, whether it’s good or bad for it. Officially, these specific departments, for reasons of policy from above, are trying to manage their share of the work, including film censorship.

The Eternals, a superhero film said to have cost $200 million and starring big names like Angelina Jolie, was directed by Oscar-winning Chinese-American director Zhao Ting, making it another selling point.