Chinese censors have reportedly cut Cloud Atlas down from 169 minutes to 130 minutes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“It sucks really,” Lana Wachowski said to the news agency China.org.cn about the fact that audiences in China will not see the full version in theaters. “But I believe you can watch the full version online,” she added. According the THR none of the film’s directors took part in the cuts.
The THR story speculates that the scenes depicting a gay relationship in the film and possibly a heterosexual sex scene with actress Zhou Xun were cut.
Chinese authorities have a history of cutting scenes from films that are deemed too graphic or that portray China in a negative light. For example, Chinese censors cut out the scenes of Kate Winslet posing nude in Titanic 3D. The Telegraph recently reported that any scenes in Skyfall where Javier Bardem’s character mentions “being tortured by Chinese authorities” were removed from the film for Chinese audiences, among other things.
Cloud Atlas received mixed reviews in the United States. It also garnered some controversy for having Caucasian actors, like Jim Sturgess, wear makeup that made them appear to be of Asian descent.
Lana Wachowski and Warner Bros. have not yet responded to EW’s requests for comment on this story.
We received this statement from the Cloud Atlas producers:
“We were unaware that our Chinese partners, Dreams of Dragon Pictures, had cut almost 30 minutes from the film . We did know that, as with other countries, there were likely to be censorship trims and we trusted them to protect the integrity of the filmmaker’s creativity and vision. We have not seen the edited version but we understand that there will be a wide release of both a Mandarin subtitled and a dubbed version starting on January 31st. We have been excited by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the film by the local media and public during the promotional visit and premiere in Beijing this week and we wish Dreams of Dragons every success as it builds on the successful international rollout to date”.