New York: The latest Spider-Man blockbuster has been banned from release in China after Sony refused to remove scenes from America that Beijing deemed “too patriotic”, including footage of the superhero swinging around the Statue of Liberty, according to a media report.
The claim was published on the Puck News website, which cited unnamed sources as saying Chinese censors asked last year if Sony could “remove the Statue of Liberty from the end” of Spider-Man: No Coming Home.
The superhero, played by British actor Tom Holland, is seen battling supervillains around the symbol of American freedom.
Sony refused. China then asked if the New York statue could be “minimized,” according to the report.
Censors wondered “if Sony could cut out some of the more patriotic shots of Holland standing atop the crown, or dim the lighting so Lady Liberty’s face isn’t so center stage,” reported the Puck News website.
No Way Home grossed $805 million ($1.1 billion) at the North American box office. It was never given a Chinese release date, for no reason given.
Removing the film from the Chinese market would have cost Sony millions. If true, it marks a rare rebuke by Hollywood of Chinese censorship.
The previous two films in the Tom Holland Spider-Man franchise earned $116 million and $200 million at the Chinese box office.