Variety Entertainment News Service

Warner Bros. has decided to take a pass on releasing "The Dark Knight" in China.

The studio, which has seen foreign grosses top $465 million for "Knight," made the disclosure in a statement Tuesday.

"Based on a number of pre-release conditions that are being attached to 'The Dark Knight' as well as cultural sensitivities to some elements of the film, we have opted to forego a theatrical release of the film in China," Warner said.

A studio spokesman declined to elaborate. "The Dark Knight" included scenes shot in Hong Kong, which could have created difficulties in convincing censors to approve the release.

The Chinese market has been growing impressively in years due to increased numbers of multiplexes and an expanding middle class. But sensitivities remain high about Hollywood's treatment of its culture.


With recent headlines dominated by the huge Ponzi scheme allegedly perpetrated by Wall Street investment manager Bernie Madoff, former "Shield" star Michael Chiklis has outed the project he's been quietly developing at FX since February.

"House of Cards," which he said he'll exec produce but not act in, is based on the life of an operator of just such a scam.

"You look at Charles Ponzi himself -- this guy was loved, intelligent and charming," Chiklis noted. "I find it an interesting character study."

The Emmy-winning actor said the project -- which doesn't have a scribe attached to it yet -- is a personal one given that he and his wife were themselves victimized by a Ponzi scheme last year.

"I have been very passionate about this project," Chiklis said. "This is something I want to fast track and get done. I think its time has come, and someone's going to get out there with it."


In the lead-up to the release of the next Bruce Springsteen album on Jan. 27, two exclusive deals involving the Boss have been struck.

Wal-Mart will be selling a "Greatest Hits" album beginning Jan. 13 and f.y.e. stores will be offering Springsteen cards and posters to consumers who pre-order "Working on a Dream."

The 12-track hits package is all Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band recordings, which differentiates it from the 1995 "Greatest Hits" release. Album includes "Rosalita," "The Rising" and "Radio Nowhere."


The three primary songwriters in the band Chicago have inked a strategic partnership deal with Primary Wave Publishing, the first time all three have been with a single publisher.

Primary Wave has acquired the music publishing rights and will market the songs of Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane and James Pankow. Among their compositions are the 1970s hits "Make Me Smile," "Saturday in the Park," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" "Colour My World," "Just You n' Me," "Feeling Stronger Every Day," "Call on Me" and "Beginnings."