Bond breaks into China

British secret agent passes Chinese censors and into cinemas for first time.

    Daniel Craig, the actor who plays Bond, has flown into Beijing for the premiere [Reuters]

    Daniel Craig, the actor in the Bond role, has been flown into Beijing for the event and the producers have worked closely with Chinese language experts to perfect the translations.
    "High expectations"
    Sony says that while it does not expect Casino Royale to bring in a big return from China, the event is still a significant step forward for the Bond franchise into China's potentially vast cinema-going audience.
    "I think it will be very well received," said Li Chow, China general manager for Sony Pictures.
    "Everybody here in China knows the Bond films, and there are very high expectations, so we hope it will be very successful."
    He said that Sony had discussed they film's content with Chinese censors and they had not requested any cuts.
    "What we told them is, we are fighting a common enemy, terrorists. That was well accepted," Li said.
    Casino Royale is the first of the 21 Bond films to pass Chinese censors. The previous outing, Die Another Day, was rejected, reportedly due to its depiction of North Korea as a haven for terrorists.
    Under China's tightly-controlled film market, only 20 foreign films are allowed to be shown in Chinese cinemas each year.
    Officials say this is to protect China's home-grown film making industry. But foreign film companies say the rules are unfair, and help to fuel China's rampant DVD piracy trade.
    Although they were banned from the big screen in China, box sets of the previous Bond outings are widely available at pirate DVD stalls across the country.
    Illegal copies of Casino Royale itself went on sale in China within days of its release in the US.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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