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Live-Action Monster Hunter Producers Apologize for Controversial Dialogue Line

posted on by Adriana Hazra
Constantin Film removes line from film, says there was no intent to discriminate or offend

Entertainment industry news source Deadline reported on Sunday that Constantin Film has issued an apology for a line of dialogue in the live-action film of CAPCOM's Monster Hunter game franchise. The company also stated that there "was absolutely no intent to discriminate, insult or otherwise offend anyone of Chinese heritage" and that it has removed the line from the film.

The company released a statement saying it "sincerely apologizes to Chinese audiences for a line of dialogue contained in an early scene of Monster Hunter. There was absolutely no intent to discriminate, insult or otherwise offend anyone of Chinese heritage. Constantin Film has listened to the concerns expressed by Chinese audiences and removed the line that has led to this inadvertent misunderstanding."

Entertainment trade magazine Variety reported on Saturday that Chinese theaters have been pulling the film after the first day of screenings on Friday.

According to Variety, a quarter of all theater film slots were allotted to the film on Friday but dropped to 0.7% on Saturday. The change came after initial screenings caused an uproar regarding an alleged racial subtext in a 10-second scene that Variety reported some viewers said "insults China."

Variety reported that it found screenshots posted online confirming cinemas were sent an urgent notice to cancel upcoming screenings of the film. One screenshot noted, "A new version is being produced overnight, and should be the one screened." Tencent is distributing the film in China.

The film was tentatively slated to open in the United States on December 30, but is now being moved up to December 25, according to Variety.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and TOHO had planned to open the film in North America and Japan, respectively, on September 4. The companies then delayed the film until tentatively next year due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Sony Pictures Entertainment had been targeting April 23, 2021 for the North American opening date, but a teaser video in October revealed a December debut. The film is slated to open in Japan on March 26, 2021.

The film started production in October 2018, and ended principal photography in December 2018. The film is budgeted at around US$60 million. Sony Pictures is distributing the film in North America, and TOHO is distributing the film in Japan.

Screen Gems describes the film's story:

Behind our world, there is another: a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When Lt. Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her loyal soldiers are transported from our world to the new world, the unflappable lieutenant receives the shock of her life. In her desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers and unstoppable, revolting attacks, Artemis will team up with a mysterious man who has found a way to fight back.

The film stars Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil movie franchise) as film-original character Captain Natalie Artemis and martial arts actor Tony Jaa (Ong-Bak film series) as "The Hunter." Additionally, Ron Perlman (Hellboy film series, Pacific Rim, Sons of Anarchy) plays the Admiral, who is the leader of The Hunter's crew. T.I. Harris (Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp) plays a sniper named Link, Diego Boneta (Luis Miguel: La Serie, Pretty Little Liars) plays Sergeant Marshall, and Hirona Yamazaki plays the Handler. Meagan Good and Josh Helman also have roles in the film.

Source: Deadline (Nancy Tartaglione)

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