By Clifford Coonan
Although Quentin Tarantino's spaghetti/slave western was pulled without any official explanation, it now appears that Django will be "unchained" again in Chinese cinemas on May 12th, one month after it vanished from the screens.
Django Unchained had been edited to meet the censor's requirements, and director Tarantino was said to be happy to make the cuts, but the film was removed from cinemas, "for technical reasons", in some cases during the first showing.
"We are delighted that audiences throughout China will be able to experience Django Unchained beginning Sunday, May 12th," Sony Pictures said.
"There is tremendous excitement, anticipation and awareness for the film and we thank the local authorities for quickly resolving this issue."
In the absence of an official explanation, rumours have been rife. A scene where star Jamie Foxx's character is strung upside down is said to have angered someone senior in the government. The arc of blood spatter was also blamed, even the crimson hue.
There were no more details from the studio about why the movie had been pulled originally or why it was being allowed in again, but reports say the producers have toned down the content slightly. This may have included darkening blood and making spatter less gruesome.
Hollywood is keen to make inroads into the Chinese film market.
It is the world's No 2 country for box office, behind only the US, and took more than 2.3 billion in receipts last year.
Another smash, Iron Man 3, is due to open on May 1st, an important public holiday. The opening was brought forward as many go to the cinema on May Day. The producers made extra scenes for the China market.
Originally published by Clifford Coonan.
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