With less than two weeks to go before Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters, anticipation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe film is at an all-time high especially for fans in Indonesia who will get to see the film two days ahead of the rest of the world. However, there are reports that the film will also be censored for Indonesian audiences and director Joe Russo is surprised to hear it.
During a recent press conference for Infinity War (via CNA Lifestyle), Russo was asked about the censorship situation and the co-director admitted that he was shocked that it was happening at all.
"This is a, I can't image what seven minutes they would want to cut out of the movie," Russo said. "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."
The seven minutes he is referring to comes from a report by Kompas.com that the run time for Avengers: Infinity War as shown in Indonesian theaters will clock in at 149 minutes instead of the official 156-minute duration. The report quoted information from Indonesia's Film Censorship Institute (LSF) and its chairman Ahmad Yani Basuki who explained that he had signed off on the censorship of the film specifically because its classification -- 13 years and older -- has rigid content requirements when it comes to violence and that Marvel films often contain violence.
The chairman also explained that he didn't know what would be revised in the film beyond the total amount of time.
In the grand scheme of things, seven minutes isn't a huge amount of time. It makes up less than five percent of Infinity War's total run time and may not be cut all from one scene but spread across the film. However, from an artistic and storytelling standpoint, seven minutes is a vast amount of time -- especially if the censored time is all part of one scene. With all of the time, effort, and work that went in to making Infinity War, it's understandable that Russo would be troubled that anything would be trimmed out.
And the seven-minute censorship of Infinity War sounds like it will be markedly different than the censorship Black Panther experienced for Indian audiences earlier this year. In that film, the word "Hanuman" was censored by having it removed from the subtitles and the audio drop out briefly during a scene between T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and M'Baku (Winston Duke). The overall content of the film remained intact with just the word -- which is the name of a popular Hindu deity -- being muted for cultural reasons.
However, despite being surprised that Indonesian authorities were trimming content from the film, Russo still had a sense of humor. He had a thought about what might end up being removed from the film, placing the blame at the feet of one of the movie's biggest stars.
"Is this a Robert Downey thing?" Russo joked.
Whatever was cut out of Avengers: Infinity War, Indonesian audiences will get to see the film in just a few weeks. Indonesia is one of a few countries that will debut the film on April 25 ahead of the regular worldwide release date of April 27.
Marvel Studios' Black Panther is now playing in theaters. Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27, 2018. It is followed by Ant-Man and The Wasp on July 6, 2018. Captain Marvel hits theaters on March 8, 2019, while the fourth Avengers movie lands on May 3, 2019. The sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming hits on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 lands in 2020.
What do you think about the seven minutes of censorship for Indoneisan audiences? Sound off in the comments below!