Babylon A.D.'s Mathieu Kassovitz Opens Up About Fox Negatively
Babylon A.D. hits theaters this coming weekend, August 29th, but apparently it's not going to be the movie that even its director, Mathieu Kassovitz, wanted it to be. In a rather eye-opening interview with AMC, Kassovitz opens up about the problems he had with Fox and the troubles with the film. If you're one of those people who thought it wouldn't be a problem if Fox ended up getting the distribution rights to Watchmen, just wait until you read about the things they did to Kassovitz and the situation they've left him in - I think you'll change your mind. This is truly a tragic story to hear and unfortunately it's too late to do anything anyway. "I never had a chance to do one scene the way it was written or the way I wanted it to be. The script wasn't respected. Bad producers, bad partners, it was a terrible experience."
Kassovitz starts off this tragic tale by explaining that "the scope of the original book [that this is based on] was quite amazing." But unfortunately the result is not the same. "It's pure violence and stupidity," Kassovitz says. And that's not a good thing that he's describing. "The movie is supposed to teach us that the education of our children will mean the future of our planet. All the action scenes had a goal: They were supposed to be driven by either a metaphysical point of view or experience for the characters… instead parts of the movie are like a bad episode of 24." If a director is saying that about his own movie, you definitely know something went wrong, very wrong. Kassovitz attempts to explain how the entire film slipped out of his hands and into Fox's, which is where all the problems began.
Apparently the film had production problems from the start, including weather delays and budget concerns. "Fox was sending lawyers who were only looking at all the commas and the dots. They made everything difficult from A to Z." Then, as we know, Fox stepped in around April and cut the film down, quite a bit. The official running time is supposedly only 90 minutes, but apparently that's much shorter (or different) than it could have been. Kassovitz says that "I know what I had -- I had something much better in my hands but I just wasn't allowed to work." And he goes on to say "I don't see how people who went through all these amazing blockbusters like The Dark Knight and Iron Man this summer will take it." That's probably the smartest thing I've heard, considering most filmmakers just shrug off other movies like that.
I knew there were problems with Fox and Babylon A.D. earlier this year when we reported that they were cutting it down, but I didn't even know Kassovitz was this upset. That explains why he's not doing any press for the film. I actually was excited to see this, based on the trailers, but now I'm not even sure I will. Hearing what Kassovitz said has left me quite depressed and quite angry at Fox. Now you know why I am so adamantly fighting against their acquisition of Watchmen. Hearing a director say "I had something much better in my hands" is such a sad thing to hear. And if we can leave you, or anyone, with a bit of wisdom, we'll let Kassovitz tell it to you. "I should have chosen a studio that has guts. Fox was just trying to get a PG-13 movie. I'm ready to go to war against them, but I can't because they don't give a shit."