When the film was first submitted to the BBFC in 1990 the certificate was withheld due to possible grounds of criminal libel from Salman Rushdie, as his character is seen as a villainous Israeli agent who is killed by a bolt of lightning from the Koran. After Rushdie claimed that the film "would have become the hottest video in town" if it was banned, and promised not to sue, the BBFC granted an uncut 18 certificate.