Fox is Tinkering With Babylon A.D. Editing, Too!
From the same people that brought the news that Hitman was being edited down by Fox's execs, comes news that the sci-fi film Babylon A.D. is being edited by Fox for the US specifically, too. The release date for the film was just changed a few days ago from February 29th to August 29th, however over in Europe it's still set for early 2008. Twitch claims that "Europeans are getting a longer cut of the film" that will run at 2 hours and 40 minutes and that in America the version will be "significantly shorter." What the hell is wrong with Fox?!
Obviously this is not fully confirmed, as with Hitman it was later revealed that Fox did take over the reigns but is still releasing it as R not PG-13 like it was speculated. The issue is that if this turns out to be true, then I'm very curious to see what Fox is doing with it for 6 months and why they're editing it to be shorter. Could it be that it was going to end up with an R rating and they want to make it PG-13? Or do they just want to water down what is likely a better movie in its longer cut to appeal the short-attention-span American audiences?
If that is the case, then it brings up the age-old argument of editing to make some PG-13 and whether that's inherently bad or good. Even editing for time is part of that argument. Personally, I think editing for any reason and taking the film out of the filmmaker's hands is bad. A movie always turns out best when it stays completely true to the filmmaker's vision. Any studio pressure usually forces them to start straying away from what was perfect. Just look at Spider-Man 3, the blame on that can't be entirely put on Sam Raimi!
In the film, Veteran-turned-mercenary Thoorop (Vin Diesel) takes the high-risk job of escorting a woman from Russia to China. Little does he know that she is host to an organism that a cult wants to harvest in order to produce a genetically modified Messiah and destroy the human race.
Babylon A.D. is reported to have a budget of $60 million. The film is directed by French filmmaker Mathieu Kassovitz, who directed Gothika and a French film from 2000 titled The Crimson Rivers as well as a few other French flicks. The French are putting out some fantastic sci-fi films recently and I'm hoping this one is just as good, as long as Fox doesn't butcher it.