Last night, we got to attend a dinner with Oliver Stone and Benicio del Toro for the DVD and Blu-ray release of Savages. We’ll have more with the stars next week, but the most surprising announcement of the night was about an Oliver Stone movie already released on DVD — three times, no less.
Oliver Stone’s maligned epic Alexander has had a director’s cut, which reordered some of the battle scenes, and then a “Final Cut,” clocking in around four hours. Now, Stone says in 2013, he will assemble a fourth cut of Alexander. And he’s doing it out of the kindness of his heart, because he’s not getting paid a fourth time.
“I’m going to go back next year actually,” Stone said. “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 it’s about all of these issues and I just feel like I can add something more. I wouldn’t do it otherwise. Again, pro bono, please understand that.”
This possible post-final cut won’t be longer. There’s no more footage of Colin Farrell fighting elephants to add. “I don’t need more footage,” Stone continued. “I want to cut it down now because I had added too much and I want it to come back a little bit. There’s some trimming.”
Stone is in good company filing subsequent edits after his “director’s cut.” Not just Ridley Scott and Blade Runner, but other legendary filmmakers have continued to work on their films after release.
“Have you ever heard of Abel Gance and Napoleon? Well, Coppola actually brought back a version in 1980 at the Radio City Music Hall. It was a very bold move, and he screened it for 5,000 seats or something. Huge, black and white, silent movie and it worked. It was magic. Gance had like 13 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 13, but I just think it’s important to me, this film.”
Alexander sure took its licks form critics upon its theatrical release, but one million units of a third edition sold is no joke. “DVD has given it a second life because all the people that have seen it, that million people adds up to a huge different base and they get it. These are people who’ve voyaged to Greece and Egypt to look for the ancient Alexandra. They’re really into it.”
We’ll have more on Oliver Stone’s thoughts on Blu-ray and Savages next week.