I’m hearing that the People’s Republic of China has a really big problem with Phillip Noyce‘s Salt (Sony, 7.23). Not one of those “scenes must be removed before your film is allowed to play in China” problems, but a “sorry, but no amount of edits will satisfy us” problem. Meaning that Salt is apparently cinema non grata in that country until further notice — no theatrical bookings, no DVDs, no Blurays.

Which, of course, means a huge opportunity for Chinese video pirates and a huge potential loss for Sony Pictures.

I don’t know anything beyond this nugget. What is it about Salt that China finds so objectionable? It’s about a possible covert operative (played by Angelina Jolie ) — a kind of Odd Woman Out whom everyone suspects is some kind of sociopath or double-agent ne’er -do-well, or is dangerously disloyal in some way, shape or form. What her character has to do with China or its policies is a mystery to me. And to others, I gather. The shut-out hasn’t been conveyed “officially” but I’m told it’s a done deal.