The James Bond film Skyfall is the latest Hollywood production to be subjected to the caprice of Chinese censors. In advance of its opening on the mainland on Monday (it opened in Hong Kong last November), a scene, shot in Shanghai, showing a French hitman shooting a guard in the elevator lobby of a skyscraper has been cut. And another scene, shot in a Macau casino, the Chinese-language subtitles have been changed, although the English audio has been left intact, according to the Hollywood Reporter. When it was released in Hong Kong in November, George Chen, a columnist for the local South China Morning Post, predicted that mainland censors would not approve a backstory that indicated that the movie's villain, played by Javier Bardem, had been tortured by the Chinese government after working for MI6. Any references to torture in Chinese prisons may set Beijing's teeth on edge. Especially since the main premise of the film blithely assumes that China would willingly torture a foreigner, Chen wrote. And, indeed, all references to China being involved in torture have been removed from the movie, according to reports.
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