Tarantino Heading Back into the Editing Room with Basterds
Apparently the Cannes reaction wasn't good enough for Universal. Anne Thompson over at Variety published an update from Cannes a few days ago mentioning that Universal is urging Quentin Tarantino to make some changes to Inglourious Basterds before it officially hits theaters in late August. Tarantino has consistently worked with The Weinstein Company for most of his recent films, but Basterds was co-financed and co-produced by TWC and Universal, meaning that the studio has as much say as Harvey Weinstein this time around. And apparently they're not too happy with the feedback from Cannes.
Before its premiere last Wednesday, the running time was one of the most talked about aspects of the film. It was listed in the Cannes guide at 2 hours, 40 minutes, but it actually only played roughly 2 hours, 28 minutes. Most people are instantly assuming that some of the negative criticism stems from its length and are saying that Tarantino needs to trim it down. On the contrary, though, it felt like it was missing a few key scenes (or so I thought). Thompson confirms that Universal wants Tarantino to return "to the editing room post-Cannes to make some trims edits that might include adding a scene, says Tarantino."
He also reminds us that the current run time is "well under his contractual final cut length of 2 hours, 48 minutes." I think I would've preferred seeing the 2 hour, 40 minute version, but I'm sure Universal is getting nervous, since long films don't exactly fare too well at the box office (although there are exceptions). It's also been the on-going theme here at Cannes that films are almost always way too long. Though with Basterds, there were so many different characters and stories, that I felt as if a few weren't developed enough, and that there could have been more. I'll be looking forward to seeing his final cut in August.