The Mummy films deal with a mixture of historical fact and completely made up fantasy, and sometimes, the line can be close to call. Which seems to be a problem in China, where the censors are asking for changes to be made to the plot of The Mummy: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, before it secures a release in the country.
This is kind of odd seeing as a large portion of the movie was filmed in China, with the Chinese authorities having okayed the screenplay after asking for some initial modifications. Universal has already adapted the screenplay to make it less political and more focused on fantasy than real history.
But that’s not enough, and according to Variety, The State Administration for Radio, Film and Television now want certain cuts to be made before it will set a release date for the film. A spokesman for Universal said:
Universal does not anticipate any obstacles to clearing the film for China and looks forward to releasing “The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor” in the country where it was set and shot.
The production spent three months in China, with a replica Great Wall being built, and an army of terracotta soldiers brought back to life. This latter portion of the film could be the reason for the outcry, as themes involving ghosts are taboo in China.
China is becoming an increasingly important market for Hollywood and beyond, as the amount of multiplex cinemas is growing, and the middle classes, who can afford regular trips to the cinema, are massively increasing in number.