Producers behind Brad Pitt's new zombie movie World War Z have removed an unfavourable reference to China in the film in order to please censors in the Communist country and secure a release there.

The comic book adaptation, about a plague which threatens to wipe out humanity, features Pitt's character, a United Nations crisis manager, searching for the cause of the outbreak and in the original version, he identifies China as the starting point of the fictional pandemic.

However, executives at Paramount Pictures had to ask director Marc Forster and his team to cut a special edit of the movie to satisfy Chinese censorship officials, who allegedly threatened to ban the release of World War Z in their country unless the unflattering reference was taken out.

Instead, the plague is branded the "Moscow flu" in the Chinese version and the disease is first discovered by a heroic Chinese scientist, reports the New York Post.

World War Z, which is scheduled to hit theatres worldwide this summer (13), is the latest film to be edited to please censors in China - recent movies Skyfall and Cloud Atlas also had to be altered before being approved for release.