Quentin Tarantino’s penchant for playing with history is going to cost him millions as China cancels the release of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the martial arts legend’s daughter, Shannon, appealed directly to China’s National Film Administration to put the kibosh on the flick because she hated the way it depicts her father. In the film, Lee is an arrogant jerk who eventually gets beat up by Brad Pitt’s stuntman character when Lee goads him into a fight.
Regulators had approved Once Upon a Time for an October 25 release, but have suddenly had a change of heart, and the film’s opening has been indefinitely put on hold. This has Tarantino and his Chinese financier, Bona Film Group, scrambling to come up with a new cut of the movie in hopes of getting China to let it hit the screen.
At stake is more than $30 million, as China was expected to put Hollywood—which has already earned $366 million—over the $400 million mark.
The National Film Administration is offering no explanation for the hold, but if Shannon Lee is behind it, Tarantino had been warned of her displeasure months ago. Of course, back in June, she was a little more philosophical about the movie, saying, “With Tarantino’s film, to not have been included in any kind of way, when I know that he reached out to other people but did not reach out to me, there’s a level of annoyance—and there’s part of me that says this is not worth my time and my energy. Let’s just see how the universe deals with this one.”
A unnamed source tells the Hollywood Reporter that Tarantino has indicated he has no plans to re-cut the film for the Chinese market.
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.