Chinese Whispers

Hollywood and China: happily ever after?

32 min listen

In This Episode

Until a few years ago, Hollywood dominated Chinese cinemas. In the People’s Republic, Marvel’s superhero romps were the people’s favourite, with Avengers: Endgame taking in over £510 million at Chinese box offices.

Hollywood is desperate to crack the Chinese market – after all, it’s a country with a fifth of the world’s population and a growing middle class. But there’s just one problem – the small issue of the Chinese Communist Party, which tightly controls the films people can see.

Since the success of Avengers: Endgame, Marvel films had effectively been blacklisted until earlier this year, with other Hollywood blockbusters failing to break through either. On this episode, we’ll be talking about the complicated love affair between Beijing and LA.

I’m joined by Wall Street Journal journalist Erich Schwartzel, author of Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy; and Chris Berry, Professor of Film Studies at Kings College London – you might remember him from our previous episode discussing the golden age of Chinese films.

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