Boy Kills World: Narration changed for theatrical release?

Boy Kills World is finally getting a theatrical release, but it seems to be a different cut than the one we liked at TIFF.

Last Updated on February 26, 2024

It’s happened before, and it will happen again. Sometimes, a movie plays a film fest, gets picked up by a studio, and is changed. It looks like that’s exactly what happened to Boy Kills World, a movie I saw (and enjoyed) at TIFF’s Midnight Madness. The official trailer dropped today, and I’m thrilled the film is getting a full-on theatrical release courtesy of Lionsgate and Roadhouse Attractions.

However, Boy Kills World won’t be released the way I saw it at TIFF.

As soon as I started watching the trailer, it seemed different to me, as in the cut that I saw; the entire movie was narrated by Bill Skarsgard’s “Boy” character (who is deaf and mute) via his interior monologue. In the version I saw, Skarsgard seemed to be doing the voice. The hook is that Boy’s inner monologue is based on the last voice he heard, that of a nineties-style arcade game, and it looks like the studio has replaced Skarsgard’s voice with that of Archer voice actor H. Jon Benjamin.

While some may say that’s a good thing, I’m not entirely sure it will work in the context of the movie. While a rocking action film, it takes on deeper, more serious themes as it goes on, so it’s a shame that Skarsgard, who seemed to be delivering a great vocal performance (to my ears, anyway), won’t get to convey the character’s emotion the same way. I liked it originally, but I’m not sure I’ll feel the same about it when I see this new cut. For me, removing Skarsgard’s vocal performance is a weird choice, especially given what a good voice actor he is (can anyone forget how he sounded as Pennywise in It?). I wonder if Boy Meets World got any other revisions because the cut I saw was pretty balls-to-the-wall. It took several months for the film to get a distribution deal, so it’s possible the movie had to be retooled a bit before coming out. The voiceover swap – to me anyway- is a pretty big change, and I’m not sure it’s a welcome one. I’ll reserve judgment until I see the final film, but take my original review with a grain of salt now, as this version seems very different. Maybe it’ll be better, but it might be worse, too.

Boy Kills World hits theaters on April 26th.

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.