By now the Weinsteins’ treatment of their Asian film acquisitions during their Miramax days is practically legendary. More enamored with possession than actually sharing with audiences, they constantly grabbed domestic distribution rights to quality titles like Shaolin Soccer and Hero, then sliced them to ribbons and/or sat on them interminably (some of the films they snatched up years ago have just recently been unceremoniously relinquished to DVD). And though they’re no longer the honchos of Miramax, the gluttonous behavior continues unabated at their new company – they devoured domestic rights to Tony Jaa’s jaw-dropping Thai martial arts flick Tom Yum Goong, so don’t plan on seeing a non-pirated version of that film Stateside anytime soon

The latest Asian import to be handled like Jodie Foster in The Accused is Chen Kaige’s epic fantasy The Promise, which the Weinsteins had acquired at Cannes, after which they hacked 20 minutes out of it, changed the title to Master of the Crimson Armor… and set it aside. Until now, anyway — the film, which the original owners wanted pushed for an Oscar, has been returned to its homeland in what is officially an “amicable” split.

But since the only amicable interaction Harv and Bob probably ever had is with meatball sandwiches, that seems doubtful — the great Asian film blog Kaiju Shakdown has more interesting and realistic theories that you can read RIGHT HERE. As for the film itself, it already opened in China theaters to good receipts and lousy reviews, but unless another US studio gives it CPR, you’ll probably have to hit your local reseller for the eventual import DVD if you want to check it out.