Darren Aronofsky Talks About an Alternate Version of The Fountain
by Alex Billington
December 10, 2008
Any true cinephile knows that Darren Aronofsky is a brilliant filmmaker, well on his way to solidifying himself in cinematic history. If he didn't already do so with Pi, Requiem for a Dream, or The Fountain, he will either with The Wrestler or his upcoming RoboCop reboot or any other project he directs in the future. We spoke briefly with Aronofsky today in Beverly Hills and had to ask him about the rumor from MTV that said he was re-cutting The Fountain, which is my very favorite Aronofsky movie to date. "I'm not re-cutting it, I'm doing a bit of -- I'd call it more of a redux -- well, I don't even know what that word means for goodness sake," Aronofsky said. So what exactly is he doing if not necessarily a director's cut?
"It's something more for fans. I worked on the film for 6 years and it went through a lot of versions. And there was one version that was much closer to one of the scripts that we had. And we kind of chose between which way we would go with it and they both are kind of interesting. So I was always curious for myself to see what that alternative version would be. And we cut it actually recently, it's done. I would have to get Warner Brothers to support it and get it out there." Unfortunately, since the film fell between the cracks during its original theatrical release in late 2006 (it only made a depressing $10 million at the box office), I imagine that Warner Brothers is very skeptical of ever touching the project again.
Aronofsky did say that, "at some point, hopefully, there'll be enough of a demand that they'll let me go in and do it. But we got to get there." And if you're still a bit confused by this alternate version, you're not alone, as I am, too. And to make it all a bit worse, Aronofsky added this: "It's very similar but it's looking at a few things in a few different ways and answers a few questions for people and raises some new questions in other ways." In the MTV article, he did mention that it would contain "unused footage from the first go-round" and be a "complicated project on a couple of levels." Considering that not only do I absolutely adore The Fountain, but that it dramatically affected my appreciation for independent film, I'm very interested in seeing this alternate version, if only to re-experience the film all over again.
Reader Feedback - 22 Comments
this will be incredible!! Im really thrilled to hear anything about this movie!! this is most likely one of the most moving experiences I have ever had watching and re-watching a movie in my life. I can not explain what this film does for me in many different ways, I am so glad he is as visionary as he is and anything he can do to put me back in that world and back in those feelings in a new way is great and Im really excited about it. he is truly an amazing film maker, and I cant express how this movie has changed me and I really mean that, from the sound tracki to the performances to the relationship between wiez and jackman, everything in that film is incredible and I loved it. it is by far my favorite film ever. although I have only watched requiem for a dream once and I can never watch it again, it hurt me watching it and it makes me so damn depressed that I want to never feel the way that they feel in that film, it was really hard for me to watch. it is well done and amazing but I still have trouble watching it, Ive tried watching it again and I just cant get past the first 20 minutes of the film. it may be because it is so much like my life in a way that its hard but whatever it is he is one of the best film makers in history.
tyler w on Dec 10, 2008
God I hope this Re-cut makes it out. I absolutely adore "The Fountain." I think Darren's idea had so much potential and WB fumbled it. I think it is so underrated and people just hate it carelessly because they don’t get it. When the studio slashes more than half of your budget and your original stars bolt I think he did a good job with what he had, no wonder Darren had a mental breakdown.
Hafid on Dec 10, 2008
Who's ass can i kiss to get a copy of this!
Red Buttons on Dec 10, 2008
This movie was terrible. Artistically amazing The whole thing should have just focused on the conquistador. Loved the cinematic style of this film though, the recut should take out the future and present day scenes. Thats a bit huge i know but, but just an opinion.
SmartGuy on Dec 10, 2008
Some of the best news thus far, but it will only be great news if this re-cut actually comes out!
Bo on Dec 10, 2008
WOW i can't understand why anyone would praise the fountain. It was in my opinion in the top 25 worst movies of all time. It looked incredible but the story, it was just so boring. I remember going to see it and wanting to walk out so bad. It was like being in purgatory sitting there knowing that at some point i'll get to leave but first i just have to suffer a little bit longer. Just my 2 cents.
dac_fan on Dec 10, 2008
Nice, I wonder if he'll release another GN to go with it.
tzarinna on Dec 10, 2008
its like revolver.... i personally thought it was mind blowing and nerve cracking... and more perplxed like WTF just happened? but intrguing a special way... it was dumbed down and reedited to give a complete diff feel for the US version... (with the change of scene order, it tells a whole new story)... fountain to me, was breathtaking and visually extremely arresting. and story telling was like persuading me to ask questions... which was good... and darren is one guy who can pull it off in the REDUX version also 🙂
george bush on Dec 10, 2008
im with you Alex this was an awesome movie that got me to look at a lot more independent projects...no matter what anyone says the cinematography alone in this movie validates this redux
Trademark on Dec 10, 2008
I love Arnofsky, but FOUNTAIN blew. BIG TIME. As much as I trust his view of a redux. . . Frankly, I dont care. I'd rather watch classic's I've missed and lame-o comedies than give this a 2nd round.
Voice of Reason on Dec 10, 2008
Maybe this time around The Fountain will make sense...and not suck.
Jeep-Fu on Dec 11, 2008
The Fountain was amazing, one of the most beautiful and emotional movies I've ever seen and my favorite Aronofsky movie by far. It's sad that so few people appreciate it or "get it."
YK on Dec 11, 2008
being that I study metaphysics a little bit I couldn't help but not love this movie. I think Aronofsky has a good idea about how the universe works. Of course it's not dead on and doesn't make complete sense but that's what is so beautiful about it. Meta meaning difficult to understand. It's funny because I just bought this movie about two months ago. I wish they would make it blu ray. But either way I would buy an alternate version. (Straight to DVD?)
vu on Dec 11, 2008
Thank you for these news! The Fountain is my favorite movie of all times (from my favorite director Darren Aronofsky) and like YK (#12) it makes me kind of sad to know that the more or less vast majority of people can't appreciate it, mainly due to their lack of understanding. To be honest, I may even be a bit disappointed by Aronofsky "redoing" it. To me this movie is perfect as it is. Since this is Aronofsky's first movie that's not praised by almost every critic on earth, his recutting it probably implicates him not being able to handle negative criticism too well. Which is a shame because I've always thought of Darren Aronofsky as a visionary who does not want or need to please everyone and anyone with his art. These news and maybe also the fact that "The Wrestler" is done in a rather conventional artistic style compared to Aronofsky's former films sort of sounds like he is far less self-confident in his style than I thought. But a "I want to make exceptional and controverse films as long as each and everyone likes them" kind of attitude is not really the right thing in my eyes.
c-r-u-x on Dec 11, 2008
for those of you who wonder what is the connection between pi and fountain - imho they are both based on a m.armstrong theory of cycles (which applies to stock market, or, was appleid to it); definitevely pi was heavily influenced by it, and fountain - well, history repeating; human reaction stays the same; all characters faced similiar problem, and they all reacted pretty much the same way; thats why you could filther a theory of cycles out of it. armstrong based his theory on a "pi", and derived conclusions based on logical appliances of that number to stock market. scary enough, he forseen precisely to a day, peaks and bottoms of market trends, even 9/11, as a crucial date, was derived from "pi". some say its numerology, and i personally am not 100% convinced to it, but you can not disagree with certain thesis and, most importantly, the effects and accurate predictions. lets say that im reading his books to make a firm opinion. if you are interested, wiki/google him : Martin Armstrong, "it's just time", and "the greatest bull market in history". regards, magic-san
magic-san on Dec 11, 2008
People either seem to love this film or hate it. I'm on the Loved It side, but I certainly view it as being a bit flawed. I don't know if anything can be accomplished by a 'redux' though. Oh, and this was the best performance of Hugh Jackman's life!
kevjohn on Dec 11, 2008
I can see people trying to draw 'metaphysical' connections from the Fountain but I don't think the version I saw really allows for it appropriately. In reality the whole thing is pretty basic and somewhat underwhelming in how it paints the connections between times so litterally... (only the present is real with the past being the book his wife was writing and the future the ending he gives it...) I think for me the concept of the film as a whole was interesting, and I was rather disapointed in how it somewhat drops the connections between the past and present as the movie goes along. I was enthralled throughout the first half of the film and ultimately felt bored and disapointed by the time it was all over. So I'm curious about what this new version will be like. Ultimately any movie that has me thinking about it long after did at least a little something right.
AD on Dec 11, 2008
its not supposed to be confusing or extremely deep. I dont think aronofsky is that deep with his concepts,his initial ideas are but he plays with very real concepts and emothions and puts them in beautiful images, and movements that it makes you think and see things in a different way. people that do not find this movie moving or intruiging and truly incredible are frankly just not that intelligent. or maybe you are you just dont have any emotions. thank you #12. he is really amazing and so was this film. it is really obvious.
tyler w on Dec 11, 2008
I loved "The Fountain", and I'm interested.
Brian on Dec 11, 2008
I suggest you stop deleting "keagan remly"'s critical comment since deleting it again and again is not the right way to respond to such criticism. And given the fact that everyone who has subscribed to the comments of the articles he posts his comment to get the comment via email the impression might arise that he is not too wrong in his conception - considering you think it necessary to keep his opinion hidden from the public.
c-r-u-x on Dec 15, 2008
I think this is pretty incredible news. Although the current film is incredible in and of itself on many levels, I always wondered how the film would of been like had the original pass been successful. with this in mind, although, this would, obviously, not be that film, a redux of the current would be very interesting. i have always been very disappointed by the reaction most people have with this film. with that said, i get it - you didn't get it and that is okay. i can see why most people didn't get it, for countless reasons it was not a film that many people wanted to see first and foremost. secondly, it was both overly complex and overly simple and i think this is why people felt it was boring. someone mentioned earlier metaphysics and on a level i have to laugh (not at the person but at the idea). Metaphysics is a western culture attempt at understanding what indigenous people around the world have understood since begin of time. life is not a linear thing, it is a cycle and true eternity can only be attained through death because through death, a person is once again born into the life of all things. I am Native American, one that was raised on a reservation and have understood this idea all my life. But i am also Catholic, which teaches another ideal. i have always looked for a film that fused those two seemingly conflicting viewpoints and, to me, The Fountain do that. The Fountain is the type of film that speaks when the person is at a point in their life where they'll understand what it is saying - trust me, half these people will rewatch the film ten-fifteen years down the road and say "wow. now i get." like many films it, too, will be viewed as before its time.
Rico on Dec 15, 2008
I'd watch it.
Manfred Powell on Dec 24, 2008
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