We’re just a few weeks away from the premiere of Deadpool, but Ryan Reynolds’ much-anticipated solo adventure as Marvel Comics’ mouthy mercenary isn’t going to get the global debut many — including the studio — had hoped for. It turns out that the irreverent antihero’s “R”-rated antics have gotten the film banned in China.
A new report indicates that China’s strict policies regarding violence, nudity, and graphic language in movies have prompted the country to deny Deadpool a theatrical release.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the offending content in Deadpool was impossible to cut from the film without causing problems with the plot, making it difficult to provide the usual, edited version of “R”-rated movies that traditionally screen in the country. The studio had hoped that the film’s Marvel Comics background would give it some leeway with China’s censorship authorities, as movies based on Marvel Comics properties have historically done well in China and been well-received by the country’s critics and audiences alike.
Unlike the U.S., China has no official ratings system for films, so a government agency is tasked with deciding which movies can be screened in the all-ages Chinese theaters. China is currently the second-largest movie market in the world.
Previous films that have been banned in China include Crimson Peak, Noah, and The Dark Knight.
Directed by Tim Miller, Deadpool casts Reynolds as former Special Ops agent Wade Wilson, who gains accelerated healing powers after being subjected to a military experiment that almost killed him. While hunting the man who destroyed his life, he crosses paths with a long list of super-powered heroes and villains — including at least one character who should be familiar to X-Men fans.
Along with Reynolds, the film stars T.J. Miller as Weasel, Gina Carano as Angel Dust, Brianna Hildebrand as the teenage mutant Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Morena Baccarin as Copycat, Ed Skrein as Ajax, and Stefan Kapicic as the steel-skinned X-Men team member Colossus.
Deadpool hits theaters February 12 in the U.S.