Weinstein Company Accused of Padding The Road Trailer?
Fans of Cormac McCarthy's novel are getting a bit riled up over the recent trailer for The Road. John Hillcoat's adaptation has been in development for a while. It was shot in early 2008, but The Weinstein Company delayed the release until this year because they wanted to promote The Reader instead. The full trailer finally hit a few weeks ago to a primarily positive response, give or take a few who were upset that it's not presented in the same way as the book. However, an interesting article has popped up on ScreenRant recently alleging that The Weinstein Company added footage to sell the trailer to mainstream audiences.
The trailer opens with some shots of various natural disasters and world destruction as well as some scenes with Charlize Theron and the text: "10 years from now, one event will change the face of the planet." But of course, those who have read the novel know that it never explains what happened or why exactly our world is now a post-apocalyptic wasteland. ScreenRant goes on to explain that almost all of those shots were just added by TWC: "None of that footage is in the film and the characters aren't even watching it on TV. It's all just clever editing." From there, they explain the real truth behind The Road's setting and backstory.
Here's a dose of the truth: The film version of The Road adheres pretty closely to the novel (with a few choice liberties taken here and there). In the novel, there is never any explanation of what event(s) turned America into a desolate wasteland. When the story begins, The Man (Viggo Mortensen) and The Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) are simply walking on the road across the annihilated landscape and that's as much background as we get. There is no preachy message about the environment or nuclear war or human relations - no subversive political or religious metaphor.
Maybe it's just because I'm familiar with the novel, but when I was watching that trailer, I instantly assumed that those shots were added for dramatic marketing effect (and wouldn't be in the movie). And once it got into the meat of the story with real footage, it looked exactly as it should. And while he is right to complain about TWC's choice to edit the trailer, if it brings in more people to actually see The Road (which won't be edited differently), then why is it such a big problem? His complaint lies more in the fact that this isn't how it should be marketed and as a fan of the novel, the truth shouldn't be twisted for marketing purposes.
Kofi is calling for a new trailer that doesn't include any of that fake footage and doesn't skew the truth. But I ask, if they were to put that out, would as many people be interested? In fact, I don't think much of that footage at the beginning really had an impact on anyone who saw the trailer. It was just padding to help give a sense of direction (albeit a completely inaccurate one) to those who had never heard of this novel before. Either way, I'm still looking forward to The Road because I can look past the marketing. What about you?