Indian authorities responsible for approving and denying movies for the public have banned Fifty Shades Of Grey, even after all the nudity was taken out.
It's been reported by Reuters that there were objections to the salacious content in the Fifty Shades Of Grey dialogue, according to sources at studio Universal. Although producers had edited the movie to eliminate nudity and reduce the strength of the sexual content, this appeared not to work in their favor.
The Indian ban of Fifty Shades Of Grey follows similar bans in Malaysia, Kenya, Indonesia, and several countries in the Middle East.
Shravan Kumar, chief executive of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), commented that producers of the movie have the option to appeal the decision.
Kumar said that producers first approached the CBFC in January but twice rescheduled the examination, claiming that content was not available.
"It is out of the way for us because certification happens on first-come-first-serve basis. We finally viewed the film for examination on February 28 and the committee compiled its report and sent it to them. Their reply is awaited.
"It did not pass but it is not unusual as many mainstream films don't get clearance in the first step, people have the option to go for a revising committee's opinion. The theme of the movie is such that it could not be cleared in the first viewing. In the second step a wider committee will review the film."
An anonymous source at Universal Studios said the studio had already approached the relevant committee to make its appeal for Fifty Shades Of Grey. The source also told AFP that it had been refused certification in India with a 4-1 vote against, despite being toned down by the studio, with expletives and nude scenes removed.
"These delays simply eat into revenues and encourage piracy," added the source, who declined to be named.
Universal India officially declined to comment.
Fifty Shades Of Grey has proven to be way too much for plenty of people. Moviegoers, critics, and even casual observers grew tired of the incessant promotion on bus stops and in magazines. For others though, it appears to have been wholeheartedly welcomed and continues to break box office records.
But it's reported that the movie's distributor, Comcast Corp, won't be seeking a Fifty Shades Of Grey theatrical release in China, the world's second-largest film market. Conservative censors there are particularly sensitive about sexually explicit movies.
Whether Fifty Shades Of Grey finally gets Indian approval or not, it's a safe bet that Sam Taylor-Johnson's big-screen adaptation of E.L. James's bestselling erotica, and the juggernaut franchise won't be too damaged by regional blocks.
[Image - PR]