In a strange switcheroo, an American studio film is getting extra scenes put INTO the version being screened for Chinese audiences instead of being cut out to get past the local censors.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Rian Johnson's ambitious time-travel film “Looper” will have two cuts - the one that most of the world (including the U.S.) sees, and a longer and more Shanghai-centric version which will open in Chinese theaters.
The story follows a hit man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who is charged with offing targets sent from the future but finds himself in a quandary after he is ordered to kill his future self (Bruce Willis). Endgame Entertainment and China's DMG produced the film which is partly set in Shanghai.
The scenes in question were moments of exposition with Gordon-Levitt's character that also showcased Shanghai streets and landmarks. The scenes didn't work with American test audiences who thought they dragged down the pacing, so they won't be included in the cut seen around most of the world.
However they will be added back into the Chinese version because "the Chinese didn’t care about pacing, and they wanted the [China-set] scenes in, so we said OK" said a source involved in the film.