Spider-Man: No Way Home Censored – China Wanted to Remove Statue of Liberty
The exceptional box office numbers left by the latest arachnid movie could have been much better. Spider-Man: No Way Home has been censored in China. The country’s authorities wanted to remove scenes featuring the Statue of Liberty. The Asian country isn’t very tolerant of certain movie scenes. In this case, it has been the turn of Spider-Man, a global hit that can afford not to make concessions. Sony executives have steadfastly refused to make a significant change to the film.
Spider-Man: No Way Home Censored in China
Now we have more details about the scenes that China wanted to be removed from the final cut of Spider-Man: No Way Home, for it to be released in their theaters. Since the authorities requested that they remove the Statue of Liberty from the film, Tom Rothman, the CEO of Sony, refused to make such a drastic change to the film. This scene corresponds to the story’s entire ending, and probably the movie’s best moments.
Image via Sony Pictures
In an attempt to strike a compromise, Chinese censors asked to minimize the presence of the Statue of Liberty during the final sequence. The censors also requested the elimination of Tom Holland’s scenes at the top of the crown, as well as a dimming of the lighting. Once again, Sony refused to make these adjustments.
New information has come to light that has surfaced about why China censored Spider-Man: No Way Home in their country, even though the previous two installments had indeed made it to their theaters.
Image via Sony Pictures
The authorities of the Asian country asked Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios to remove an important scene from the film. The footage is the final scene where a battle takes place at the iconic Statue of Liberty. Tom Roghman, the CEO of Sony flatly refused to make this change to such an important scene.
Specifically, China asked if the production team could reduce the statue’s appearance during the final scene. They also requested to remove the images of the main character, Tom Holland, on the crown. Again, Marvel Studios and Sony executives declined to make these changes. The refusal by Sony executives was also based on low confidence that the film would be released despite the changes. As a result, Spider-Man: No Way Home was censored in China.
An Assumable Loss for Sony
Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of the highest-grossing films of recent times, even though it couldn’t count on viewers in China. Authorities in the countries of the region are increasingly hindering the release of Marvel movies. However, Marvel Studios has no intention of altering the storyline of its productions to overcome these censorship barriers. In fact, studio representatives have already stated that they will be taking a course towards increasing representation in their films.
Image via Sony Pictures Releasing.
We have to remember that Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) did open in China. The former grossed $116 million in that country, while the latter earned $198 million. So Disney and Sony gave up about $200 million to $250 million with the third one. But considering they’ve made about $1.89 billion in the rest of the world, they may not care much.
Also, Doctor Strange in the Madness multiverse probably won’t cut China either because of a brief LGBTQI+ comment from America Chavez’s character. We already know that both Egypt and Saudi Arabia have censored the premiere of the second installment of Doctor Strange.
It is very admirable that the studio is sacrificing revenue at the cost of being able to give visibility to these minorities. As well as not giving up its values to adapt to the norms of less tolerant countries.
Featured Image Via Marvel Studios
I am a circus aerialist influenced by Dick Grayson and Spider-Man. Fortunate to write about the characters that inspired me. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in International Trade.