Would you be interested in watching a fourth cut of Alexander from Oliver Stone?
In an interesting meeting of artistry and commercialism, Warner Bros. has asked director Oliver Stone to return to his 2004 ancient epic ALEXANDER and do a new cut of the film. Which, in case you're keeping score, marks the fourth version of the film to which audiences will have access.
After the initial release of the film was much-maligned by most critics and fans alike, the footage was reworked twice more - as ALEXANDER - DIRECTOR'S CUT in 2005 and ALEXANDER, REVISITED: THE FINAL CUT in 2007. It was this third reworking which actually sold so well (over a million copies) that Warner Bros. has gone ahead and asked Stone to go back and re-arrange the footage another time - this works just fine for Stone, as he reveals in the comments below that he never quite that any of the previous cuts captured his full intention.
"On ALEXANDER, I released a shorter version [in theaters] because of Warner Brothers issues. And I [was] also rushed. [When] I released the director’s cut – it wasn’t called a ‘director’s cut’. It was called ‘The Final Cut’ because [earlier] there was a rushed director’s cut that I was responsible for. My third version three years later in 2007 was called ‘A Final Cut’ and I actually added forty some odd minutes – which I think makes the film better. [I didn’t go back] for money. I just did it because I didn’t feel I had finished the movie, and I felt like I was rushed… It took three years [for me] to fully understand [ALEXANDER]. I’m going to go back next year actually. I’ve been asked by Warner Brothers because they did so well with ‘The Final Cut’. They actually sold more than a million copies. They’ve asked me to go back next year and do a fourth version."
Frankly, it’s a movie about history and I just feel like I can add something more. I wouldn’t do it otherwise… I don’t need more footage. I want to cut it down now because I added too much. I want it to come back a little bit. There’s some trimming [needed]. Have you ever heard of Abel Gance and Napoleon? Coppola actually brought back a version in 1980 at Radio City Music Hall. Huge, black and white, silent movie and it worked. It was magic. Gance had like thirteen versions of the film by the time he died because it was done in triptych in those days. They did three screens. This version that he did was unbelievable. I’m not saying I’m going to have thirteen [versions of ALEXANDER], but I just think it’s important to me, this film. DVD has given it that second life because all the people that have seen it, that million people adds up to a huge different base and they get it."
So there you have it. Stone seems well-intentioned enough, even if this is first and foremost a cash-grab on Warner Bros.' part. But for you fans of the film out there, are you satisfied with THE FINAL CUT or are you excited to see what Stone discovers in the editing room? And for those of you who remain far from being a fan of the film, would a Stone-approved fourth cut done nine years out be enough for you to give ALEXANDER another shot?
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|Extra Tidbit:||SAVAGES, Stone's latest, hits DVD/Blu-ray on Tuesday the 11th.|