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Outlaw King director cuts 20 minutes off movie after TIFF response

OUTLAW KING starring Chris Pine premiered at TIFF this month, and after the screening, there were two opinions most people came to agree on: A.) Pine lets it all hang loose, and we should be all be thankful and B.) the movie isn’t as good as they hoped it would. The latter was probably more important to director David Mackenzie (HELL OR HIGH WATER), and after the festival response he decided to take his movie back into the editing bay and do a serious trim that shed about 20 minutes from the movie. 

Deadline got the exclusive that the director was doing a serious cutting-down of the movie, which originally ran at about 137 minutes, a time critics felt was a bit too long. Mackenzie said that he could sense the movie wasn’t playing as well as he hoped and that the move to make a big cut was “entirely my decision.”

“I could feel what the audience was like in the theater. I’m sensitive to the way they felt.”

The sprawling epic centers on Scottish leader Robert the Bruce (Pine) as he goes from nobleman to king to outlaw and takes on the might of England. Critics were not all that kind to the movie, and it currently has a 41 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, albeit with only 22 reviews. Among those who enjoyed the movie was JoBlo’s own Chris – Chris Bumbray – who gave the movie great marks and hailed it as a fun medieval adventure flick that sported an appropriate length.

Among the cuts were scenes Mackenzie felt were slowing down the movie, particularly in the first and third acts, which meant cutting out some inconsequential characters. However, the scene that had everyone talking as they left the theater, the one that showed off Pine’s other – erm – talents, has been left intact.

Though making big cuts may not always be the easiest decision for a filmmaker, Mackenzie talked about how it’s necessary to deliver the best possible product to the audience – even if his initial cut could’ve supposedly run several hours long.

“I’m sure if I had the appetite, I could do a three-part mini-series as there’s lots of characters, lots of history, but the name of the game is to make an entertaining narrative-driven film with great performances; you have to whittle down, it’s a hard game especially when there’s so much history to put in.”

OUTLAW KING hits Netflix and select theaters November 9.

Source: Deadline

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