While Avengers: Infinity War movie lands in American cinemas on April 27, international Marvel fans will have an advantage over their US counterparts as the film will be released slightly earlier in overseas areas. In general, Central and European countries have been given an April 26 release date, with Eastern territories benefiting even more from an April 25 release. Indonesia is one of the small number of counties to benefit from this 48 hour advance window, but it’s now emerged that their national censorship office has chosen to remove a significant amount of footage from the original directorial cut.
In an article by Kompas.com, it’s been revealed that the overall length of the movie’s Indonesian release has been trimmed down to 149 minutes, which means seven minutes of runtime will have been removed from the original 156 minute edit that will be released elsewhere. The justification for the cuts provided by the head of the LSF (Indonesia’s Film Censorship Institute) is that in order to meet the country’s strict ‘13 years and under” classification, some violent scenes had to be removed.
It’s a development that the movie’s directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, were certainly unaware of. When questioned about the decision in a recent press conference, Joe Russo had this to say on the matter:
“This is a… I can’t image what seven minutes they would want to cut out of the movie… It’s the first we’re hearing of it so we’re a little taken aback, but yes, of course as an artist you don’t want anybody censoring anything or taking anything out of the film. This is a PG-13 movie, it’s not like it’s some radical piece of content so I’m a little shocked.”
He then later joked:
“I mean, is this a Robert Downey thing?”
Whilst these aren’t the most savage cuts to have ever been made to a Hollywood blockbuster in the international market, seven minutes is still a lot of footage, and from the sounds of things it’s going to be the movie’s most entertaining scenes that have been announced targeted. Marvel and Disney have always prided the sleeves on being family-friendly and accessible to younger viewers, certainly more so than their counterparts over at Warner/DC.
It’s not the first time, however, that an MCU movie has been forced to change due to the pressure of regional sensitivities. More recently, the edit of Black Panther released in India had to have the word ‘Hanuman’ dubbed out of a scene featuring Chadwick Boseman and Winston Duke, due to the fact that it is the name of a Hindu deity, and it was felt the word’s inclusion might cause cultural friction.
Of course, Indonesian Marvel fans can still take heart in the fact they’ll be able to watch the movie ahead of their international counterparts, and get in first online with memes and plot discussion points. It’ll be interesting to see further down the line exactly how much material they missed out on, and what impact its absence had on the overall movie.
What do you think about Indonesia’s decision to censor the movie? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments!