KUALA LUMPUR: The much-awaited film adaptation of the Marvel Comics character Daredevil, played by Hollywood heart-throb Ben Affleck, may not be hitting the big screens in Malaysia this month as scheduled after all.
The Film Censorship Board has banned the film of the same name for its “unhealthy elements” and specifically for its violent content.
The ban was issued last week.
However, it is also learnt that the film’s distributor 20th Century Fox has submitted an appeal to the board yesterday to review its decision.
Radio station red104.9, which was one of the stations promoting the film through ticket giveaways and merchandise, had its promotions disrupted by the latest development.
“We were informed by the distributor to put the promotions, including radio commercials, on hold for a while,” said red104.9 programme supervisor Godfrey Rajalingam.
The board gave five reasons for the ban, citing the first as the theme which “focused on the dealings of a secret society.''
The ban also stated the film contained violence including fighting scenes using weapons and hands.
Another reason given was the vigilante act of the comic book legend known as “Man Without Fear” who is a lawyer by day and “killer” by night.
It also stated the film focused on the mafia world and portrayed a character who is a hired killer.
The storyline centres on the character Matthew Murdock (played by Affleck) who is left blind when hit by a radioactive isotope while saving a man’s life.
Although he loses his sight, Murdock acquires a secret radar-like ability.
While working as a lawyer years later, Murdock uses his ability to stalk the streets at night fighting crime in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen as the superhero Daredevil, and battling his arch nemesis, the Kingpin (played by actor Michael Clarke Duncan).
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said most of the films vetted by the board were passed, including after undergoing censorship.
He said each film, videotape, VCD or DVD for public viewing had to get approval from the ministry before screening.
He said the films were usually banned if they went against the board’s guidelines for containing “excessive violence and sexual material or elements which can create chaos in the community.”
“Most of the time, censorship is adequate if only some portions of the film require censorship, but if too much censorship is required, making the film meaningless, it is best banned,” he said.
Citing the local production “Spinning Gasing” as an example, Chor said the film was approved after censorship and a version was released for the local market while the version for the overseas market was left unaltered.
He said the board would review 20th Century Fox's appeal and a decision would be made soon.
A 20th Century Fox official declined comment.