Unlike "Skyfall" and "Cloud Atlas," the new teen comedy "21 and Over" probably won't be censored by the Chinese government. That's because Relativity Media pushed directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore to film an alternate framing device for the film, one that hews more closely to Chinese values.
Starring Skylar Astin, Miles Teller and Justin Chon, "21 and Over" focuses on the raucous 21st birthday festivities of Chon's character, Jeff Chang, a stressed college senior who is fighting with his father about going to medical school. (Lucas and Moore also wrote "The Hangover," and the "21 and Over" borrows that film's one-crazy-night conceit and sense of mystery.) According to The Los Angeles Times, the version of "21 and Over" that will premiere in China opens with Chang attending a Chinese University, and then returning there after his birthday.
"'21 & Over,' in China, is sort of a story about a boy who leaves China, gets corrupted by our wayward, Western partying ways and goes back to China a better person,” Lucas said to The Times.
This isn't the first time a film has changed some key elements to please Chinese audiences. Last year's "Red Dawn" remake, about a foreign country attacking America, originally made villains of the Chinese military, but filmmakers decided to change the nationality of the invaders to North Korean in an effort to make the film more acceptable for China's expanding film market. Meanwhile, both "Skyfall" and "Cloud Atlas" were reportedly censored by the Chinese government. In the case of "Skyfall," that meant cutting one scene and changing some wording on the film's subtitles; "Cloud Atlas" was supposedly cut by nearly 40 minutes in an effort to excise a subplot about a same-sex couple.
"21 and Over" includes a pair of same-sex kisses, but whether those have been altered for the Chinese version is not mentioned in the Times article.
The comedy is out in theaters in the U.S. on March 1. For more on the film and its Chinese version, head over to the Times' website.