(We have updated this post with a statement from Allen’s publicist)
Woody Allen’s latest movie “Blue Jasmine” will not debut in India this weekend after the filmmaker objected to anti-tobacco ads that the Indian government requires cinemas to play before and during movies that feature scenes with characters smoking.
Allen refused to make “customisations” in the film to accommodate the ads, which led to distributor PVR Pictures cancelling the release, said two sources familiar with the matter. Both sources declined to comment because they were not authorized to talk about it with journalists.
“Blue Jasmine,” which critics have praised as the 77-year-old Allen’s best work in recent years, stars Cate Blanchett as a wealthy New York socialite who endures a humiliating fall from grace after her husband is arrested for financial crimes. The film was supposed to come out in India this weekend, three months after its U.S. release.
“Allen was adamant that he wanted the film to be shown as he had made it, without any additions to the print,” one of the sources said.
One of Allen’s publicists confirmed the sources. “Due to content in the film, it cannot be shown in India in its intended manner. Therefore, the film is not scheduled to play there,” said a spokesman for Allen at the firm 42 West.