Despite being the highest grossing film in China’s history, the China Film Group (coincidentally run by the state) considers the plot for James Cameron’s Avatar too similar to a very sensitive issue in China at the moment and is thus pulling all 2D screenings of the film. The 3D blockbuster took in 550 million yuan ($80.6 million) in its first two weeks, but is being replaced by a patriotic film Confucius starring Chow Yun Fat in the title role (check out the trailer here). Film fans can still see 3D showings of the sci-fi epic, but there are so few 3D cinema screens (about 900) in China that it’s almost like a theatrical ban for the Golden Globe-winning movie.
Apparently the plot of Avatar’s human colonists attempting to demolish an alien village for its resources has come under criticism from Chinese officials for concerns of parallels with the millions of Chinese people who have been evicted from their homes to make room for high rises and government infrastructure projects. Avatar‘s success has also angered some who fear the film’s popularity takes too much market share from their domestic films. As reported by Variety, the move is more or less standard practice in China, where the government will often clear the screens of foreign fare in the run-up to major holidays — in this case, Chinese New Year next month — to help boost local movies.
But it’s not all bad news for the Na’vi. Another mammoth sci-fi auteur has taken keen interest in the 3D technology used in Avatar, for another reboot rerelease of a certain revered franchise. George Lucas has reportedly said that the 3D tech behind Avatar might finally allow him to realize his 3D theatrical dream for the original trilogy.
“We’ve been looking for years and years and years of trying to take ‘Star Wars‘ and put it in 3-D,” George explained to Access. “But, [the] technology hasn’t been there. We’ve been struggling with it, but I think this will be a new impetus to make that happen.”
Source: Yahoo Movie News
This is exciting news for some, but I’m sure many more will have a certain amount of apprehension when thinking about Lucas going back to the editing room on what many consider the holy grail of cinema. The 3D technology might make more sense for the newer prequel films which were shot entirely in digital, but then again no one wants to see a 3D Jar Jar Binks.
How do you feel about Avatar censorship? Do you want to see a 3D remake of Star Wars?