By Clay Bohle
Interesting news has surfaced regarding the Japanese release of Neill Blomkamp’s (District 9, Elysium) newest film, ‘Chappie.’ Whilst translating and dubbing the film, Sony Pictures Japan apparently also decided to censor the film and cut a MPCEC (the Japanese equivalent of MPAA) PG-12 rated version, claiming they wanted to “reach as wide an audience as possible.”
Here is Sony Pictures Japan’s official statement, which they released via Twitter:
Which, courtesy of our friends at Rocket News 24, translates as follows:
“Thank you for your questions regarding the film Chappie.
In order to ensure that the film reaches as wide an audience as possible, we will be releasing it in Japan with the ‘PG-12′ rating. This is a decision that was reached jointly with our offices in the U.S., the Motion Picture Code of Ethics Committee (MPCEC), and has the approval of the film’s director, ensuring that the integrity of the picture will not be compromised.
Please understand that we cannot disclose the opinions of the MPCEC, nor any of the changes made to the film. We will also be unable to respond to any individual questions related to this matter.
There are no plans for an uncut version to be shown in Japan.
Thank you very much for your understanding, and we hope you enjoy the film.”
The most aggravating part of the official statement, however, was Sony Pictures Japan’s false claim to have director Neill Blomkamp’s support for the edit. In fact, it seems as though the first Blomkamp ever heard of the edit was when conversing with a Japanese fan via Twitter:
Good job, @mazy_3!
Here’s hoping Blomkamp can use his influence to overrule Sony Pictures Japan’s decision. Editing a director’s film without his knowledge is the equivalent of lending your friend your red convertible, which they decide to paint white and convert into a coupe. Sure, they can claim it’s essentially still the same car, but the style is all wrong. And especially for an auteur like Blomkamp, style is everything.