Final Cut: One Cut of the Dead remake withdraws from Sundance over virtual screenings

Last week, it was announced that the Sundance Film Festival had decided to cancel their in-person program this year in favor of virtual screenings, due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Now we have learned that the filmmakers behind one movie have decided to withdraw from the festival since the work won’t be shown to an audience a theatre. The movie that will no longer be part of this year’s Sundance Film Festival is Final Cut, the French remake of writer/director Shin’ichirō Ueda’s highly acclaimed Japanese zombie comedy One Cut of the Dead.

Final Cut was written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius, the Oscar-winning director of the Best Picture-winning silent film The Artist. (Hazanavicius also received a Best Screenplay nomination for that film.) Starring Romain Duris, Berenice Bejo, Gregory Gadebois, Finnegan Oldfield, Matilda Lutz, Sebastian Chassagne, Raphael Quenard, Jean-Pascal Zadi, Lyes Salem, Simone Hazanavicius, and Luana Bajrami, this take on One Cut of the Dead is set 

against the backdrop of a B-movie shoot that is descending into disaster, Duris plays the director who seems to be the only one invested with the necessary energy to keep the low-budget zombie film afloat. As he tries to gee up jaded technicians and uninterested actors, shooting is disturbed by the arrival of authentic undead.

The team behind Final Cut released the following statement about their decision not to participate in the Sundance Film Festival:

We fully support Sundance’s decision to move the festival to a virtual format, as the safety of audiences and filmmakers is of paramount importance. However, we believe that it is best to premiere Final Cut in a theater with a live audience and have made the difficult decision to remove the film from this year’s festival. We wish Sundance and all the filmmakers involved an excellent festival and look forward to sharing Final Cut with audiences very soon.”

Sundance also released a statement:

We had looked forward to screening Final Cut and due to the shift in our format they are no longer participating in the Festival. We respect the filmmaker’s wishes to share their work in a different capacity. We remain committed to supporting filmmakers as we navigate the changing landscape to ensure independent artists get the visibility they deserve and while we’re deeply disappointed to not gather as intended, the safety of our entire community must come first.”

The now virtual-only festival is scheduled to run from January 20-30.

Final Cut is produced by La Classe Americaine, Getaway Films, SK Global Entertainment, and BlueLight. France 2 Cinema is co-producing. The film is also supported by Canal+, France Televisions, SOFITVCINE 9, and Cine+. Wild Bunch International is handling distribution in France and the international distribution sales. Japanese companies Enbu Seminar, Hairu Entertainment, and Gaga serve as executive producers on the project, and Gaga will be distributing the film in Japan.

One Cut of the Dead was inspired by Ryoichi Wada’s play Ghost in the Box. Shot on a budget of just $25,000, Ueda’s film earned more than 30 million dollars at the global box office, and was featured on a memorable episode of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs.

Source: Screen Daily

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.