Miami Vice likely to join banned film list
Bill Savadove in Shanghai
The mainland may ban the film Miami Vice because of steamy love scenes between co-stars Gong Li and Colin Farrell, and the Chinese star's casting as a drug smuggler.
The Shanghai Morning Post yesterday quoted an official at Universal Studios, which produced Miami Vice, as saying it would be difficult for the film to be shown on the mainland because of the sex and drugs.
Yet the mainland media is already playing up the love scenes involving Gong.
The film is one of several foreign productions that have run into problems with censors recently.
The mainland pulled The Da Vinci Code from cinemas after a two-week run citing commercial reasons. The latest Mission Impossible sequel, M:i:III, will premiere this month but has had 'offensive' scenes removed. And Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest might be banned for depicting cannibalism, reports say.
Universal could not be reached for comment.
But a spokeswoman for the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said it had yet to view Miami Vice and a positive message about fighting drugs could earn it a showing.
'We haven't seen this film yet. Generally speaking, we will consider whether it has a market and fits our country's situation,' she said.
In the film, Gong plays a 'beautiful financial criminal', Isabella, who is the love interest of police detective James 'Sonny' Crockett, played by Farrell. The remake of the popular 1980s television series will premiere worldwide on July 28, its official website said.
It has an 'R', or restricted, rating in the US, which requires viewers under 17 to be accompanied by an adult.
'Apparently, such content is not welcomed by the authorities. But officials will never give you the real reason for why they ban a movie,' an industry executive said of the film's love scenes.
The mainland has no film rating system and authorities decide which foreign productions to allow on a case-by-case basis.
Gong and actress Zhang Ziyi were criticised domestically for starring in Memoirs of a Geisha last year, when relations between China and Japan were strained.
The film administration will also decide on the Pirates sequel despite mainland media reports saying that the film had been banned.