When it comes to Hollywood movies, Chinese censors have always been a little strict. Case in point: The State Administration for Radio, Film and Television tells Variety that the upcoming release of The Mummy 3 Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is still pending until Universal makes unspecified changes to the flick. The censors didn't give any details about what would have to be cut from the film, but speculation has it that the source of the problem is "usually themes involving ghosts are taboo in China".

Emperor sets the new and improved O'Connell family (Brendan Fraser, Luke Ford, and Maria Bello) smack dab in the middle of another adventure battling a tyrannical emperor (Jet Li) and his legion of undead armies. Universal already made some concessions to the Chinese government in exchange for permission to shoot on location. According to Variety Universal was urged to make the film, "less political and more focused on fantasy than real history" -- Less political? Now that's a word I would have never associated with the Mummy franchise.

A flack for Universal has already released a statement saying, "Universal does not anticipate any obstacles to clearing the film for China and looks forward to releasing "The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor" in the country where it was set and shot." Translation: We just spent $145 million bucks on this movie, and we want some of those Chinese box-office dollars. Emperor is just the latest Hollywood production to get a rough deal from Chinese censors, but at least they are in good company. On the upside, I guess the Chinese will never know what they're missing.

The Mummy 3 Tomb of the Dragon Emperor opens on August 1st, 2008.