Edited version of Australian director James Wan's R-rated 'Malignant' launched online in Chinese mainland
Published: Sep 13, 2021 10:46 PM
Photo: Screenshot of Douban

Photo: Screenshot of Douban

Malignant, the R-rated thriller directed by Australian director James Wan, debuted in the US on Friday. In a rare move, an edited version of the horror flick was also released on Chinese streaming platform iQiyi that same day, a first time for the director's work. According to the distributors of the edited version, Wan oversaw the editing himself. 

The horror movie stars US actress Annabelle Wallis as a woman who begins to have visions of people getting murdered, only to realize the events are happening in real life. The film debuted in the US on Friday both in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, and on Chinese streaming platform iQiyi in the Chinese mainland.

Wan's new work has a 7.0/10 on Chinese media review platform Douban from more than 17,000 reviews, although the page makes no distinction between the cut and uncut versions.

Some attentive Chinese movie lovers have noticed that the edited version is four minutes shorter than the uncut version. 

Starlight Media, one of the film's producers, said it worked with Wan to edit the film so it could be approved for release in the region, news website reported.

The movie's official account on Sina Weibo also emphasized that the cut version was edited under the supervision of Wan himself.

The statement was published on Sunday as part of a call to not pirate the original version and support the legal version.

"Wan also oversaw the editing team involved in the distribution of the Chinese version to satisfy the desire of Chinese fans to see the film at the same time as the US. The distribution team put in extraordinary effort to make the film available to Chinese streaming audiences," the post wrote in Chinese.

Shi Wenxue, film critic based in Beijing, confirmed that the introduction of an R-rated horror movie is indeed rare. 

"This is thanks to the efforts of its producer, Starlight Media, and the participation of some Chinese producers," he noted.

Shi noticed that the list of producers at the end of the movie includes familiar Chinese names such as Zhao Renpeng, who was also the producer of the 2019 Chinese movie The Whistleblower.

Shi said that it is common for an R-rated film to be edited for different regions. 

"Sometimes it's just because there is not a rating system in the country so some extremely violent or bloody scenes are cut so the film can be available for a wider audience," he added.

There have been several R-rated movies introduced into the Chinese mainland, including 2015 US action movie Kingsman and 2015 film The Revenant, which won many awards.