Quentin Tarantino has muted the blood splattered across his Oscar-winning film Django Unchained in order to win the approval of Chinese censors.
The director, notorious for his visceral depictions of violence, has agreed to tone down the palette of gore in his pre-Civil War slavery drama in order to secure the first commercial release for one his films in China.
Django Unchained will hit cinemas in mainland China, with “slight adjustments”, Zhang Miao, director of Sony Pictures’ Chinese branch, said.
“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 colour, 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 muting). This adjustment for him is progress rather than a compromise.”
The film will be released with the same 165-running time as the international version, following the concessions. Tarantino’s stock is rising within China and the state-backed Chinese Film Archive will host a one-off screening of his 1997 crime drama Jackie Brown on Thursday.
Django Unchained is the latest blockbuster to undergo changes to appease Chinese censors. Shots of a Chinese character being killed and dialogue referring to prostitution and politics were either edited out or left obscured in subtitles, when the James Bond film Skyfall was released in the country.