From China with Love

Variety reports that James Bond will finally be seen in China:

James Bond appears to have won over one of his toughest adversaries yet – China’s film censor. The Film Board has passed 007’s latest outing “Casino Royale” for release in China – the first time Ian Fleming’s master spy has been seen in Chinese cinemas.

Pic will screen on January 30th, according to Sony Pictures in China.

“We are extremely pleased that the film has passed and expect it to be one of the highest grossing films next year in China,” said Li Chow, Sony Pictures’ general manager in China.

Chinese auds are familiar with 007 through pirated copies, but none of the earlier films in the franchise have had a bigscreen release and getting approval for the pic marks a major success for Sony in China.

007’s “license to kill” maverick attitude, violence and sexual peccadilloes are anathema to the kinds of values China embraces in its pics. His penchant for espionage in other jurisdictions or “third countries” has meant he has failed to make it past the censors until now.

But although it is a breakthrough for the spy franchise, the theatrical release date (a full 3 months after its release in most territories) makes me wonder – will 007’s next mission involve stopping an evil mastermind who profits from bootleg DVDs?

> The original story at Variety
> A recent report from Arstechnica on Fox trying to combat piracy in China with low cost DVDs