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Chan film is too violent for China

February 17, 2009|Associated Press

HONG KONG — Jackie Chan, the comical kung fu king, is starring in a new movie so violent that its director decided not to release it in mainland China, which doesn't have a film ratings system.

Hong Kong director Derek Yee said Monday that he considered toning down the violence in "Shinjuku Incident" so it could pass censorship in China, but decided not to because he thought it would hurt the integrity of the movie.

Yee said the $25-million Chinese-language movie, in which Chan plays a refugee who escapes to Japan and becomes a killer for the mob, has scenes that show characters getting a hand chopped off and pierced with knives.

"We tried to cut the violent scenes to meet the requirements of the Chinese market, but producers I invited to watch that version thought it was incomplete," he said.

Yee said Chan, who invested in the movie, agreed with his decision.

Solon So, chief executive of Chan's company, JC Group, confirmed Yee's account.

China doesn't have a ratings system, so every movie approved by the censors is released for all audiences.

Yee's decision has financial implications because the film is expensive by Asian standards and China is an increasingly important market, where a hit movie can make millions of U.S. dollars. "Shinjuku Incident" will be released in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia on April 2 and in Japan on May 1.

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