Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets was released over the weekend in China, and did so with various cuts made in the film, with the country censoring any references to same-sex relationships in the film.
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According to a recent report from Term, Chinese censors requested a cut that Warner Bros. adopted to «comply with local requirements». Six seconds were cut from the film, all of which reference a past romantic relationship between Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore and the villainous wizard Gellert Grindelwald. The report notes that two lines were removed, including «because I was in love with you» and «Gellert and I fell in love over the summer». The first is dialogue and the second is voice acting.
Of course, this is not the first time that China has demanded censorship of a film in order to remove the same-sex story. Despite censorship, the film debuted at No. 1 in China over the weekend, grossing $9.8 million, despite about half of theaters in the country being closed due to the recent surge in COVID-19 in China.
In a statement from Warner Bros. the company acknowledged the censorship, but said that the «spirit» of the film, as well as the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, persisted despite the changes.
«As a studio, we strive to maintain the integrity of every film we release, and this extends to circumstances that require nuance to be responsive to various market factors,» the statement said. “We hope to release our features globally, blocked by their creators, but historically we’ve seen small tweaks made in local markets. When Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets, a six-second version was requested, and Warner Bros. adopted these changes to suit local requirements, but the spirit of the film remained intact. We want audiences around the world to see and enjoy this film, and it’s important to us that Chinese audiences have the opportunity to watch it too, even with these minor edits.»
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Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein, Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, Ezra Miller as Credence, Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, Jessica Williams as Professor Lally Hicks and Callum Turner as Theseus. Mads Mikkelsen as the new Gellert Grindelwald.
The additional cast includes Victoria Yates, William Nadilam, Richard Coyle, Poppy Corby-Tuek, Alexander Kuznetsov, Oliver Masucci, Maria Fernanda Candido, and Dave Wong.
Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets again directed by David Yates from a screenplay written by JK Rowling and Steve Kloves. Manufacturers Heyman, Kloves, Rowling, Lionel Wigram and Tim Lewis.