Vin Diesel's Babylon A.D. Has Been Cut to Shreds!
Last November we posted an article speculating that the upcoming sci-fi movie Babylon A.D. was going to be edited by Fox before its release, the same way Hitman and Live Free or Die Hard were previously. I've been following the development of Babylon A.D. since the start because it looks like an incredibly return to science fiction for Vin Diesel. Unfortunately Twitch has an update - and it's for the worst. They've heard that the film has been submitted to UK's BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) for certification as a 90 minute, soft PG-13 flick, which is not what it .
Last year it was reported that the 2 hours and 40 minutes version that French filmmaker Mathieu Kassovitz originally shot was going to be significantly shorter in the US. At that time it was only speculation - the information was coming from a trusted source. Now this information is solid, it's actually coming from the BBFC (you can see the page on their site here!). The only bit in question is how much they cut and whether Kassovitz's original version was much longer and R-rated. However, if that 160 minutes is accurate, then that means they've cut 70 minutes out - nearly half of the film!
Twitch reports that the BBFC has rated the film 12A, "which is the equivalent of a soft PG-13 in the US - many PG-13 films are rated 15 in the UK - meaning there can't be much action or violence left in the picture whatsoever." I'm not familiar with Kassovitz, but Twitch is, and they say "there's absolutely no way he set out to make a PG-13 rated action picture, no way at all." I'm pretty sure I believe them, because I've thought all along that this way going to be R. From the photos to the plot synopsis to the set reports and everything. It sounds like this is truly turning out disastrous.
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. Check out this very badass behind-the-scenes featurette made after they finished shooting.
Unfortunately there is not much we can do. At all. When similar stories like this came out about Hitman, we complained, but nothing changed. The Fox execs have their objective and are going to do what they want no matter how much we say. And boycotting won't help either. I want to see this anyway and will see it even at least to see how watered down the 90 minute, PG-13 version is. I'm wondering what we can do in situations like this? First off, we need to confirm the details on the original cut from Kassovitz himself.
Babylon A.D. is reported to have a budget of around $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 best we can do at the moment is hold out until its August 29th release date and make sure to make our complaints as loud as possible. Let Fox know they shouldn't mess with movies like this!
Update! The guys at Twitch have found out a few new details, but they're unconfirmed as of yet. Apparently actress Michelle Yeoh said that the original version, which will be hitting theaters in mainstream Europe without Fox's cuts, is only 105 minutes. If that's true, it might mean that Kassovitz did end up making a 105 minute (one hour and 45 minutes) movie that was cut down by only 15 minutes for the US release. We'll update this as we hear more!
I was slightly curious when I first heard about this movie, but after hearing they nearly cut the movie in half and made it PG-13 destroys any inkling I might have had to see this one.
Nick on Apr 9, 2008
It's a Vin Diesel flick, it was destroyed long before it was cut to shreds.
Brad on Apr 9, 2008
damn kindve looking forward to this, maybe they only watered down the brit version because they cant handle their action?
harrison on Apr 9, 2008
This is a great shame. Kassovitch is guaranteed to create beautiful films but his true genius is that, using this, he raises very deep, topical issues. These issues simply cannot be covered in 90 minutes within a film slaughtered (sorry; edited) for the studio's idea of a modern teenager. For an example, and just because the film is amazing, see 'La Haine',1995 written and directed by Kassovitch. Yes it has violent moments, but more importantly the violence isn't of the comic book variety, ie, has repercussions, and is inherent to the story. Of course, still going to see the film, even when Kassovitch is handicapped he's going to be good, but hoping that a directors cut will appear at some point to show us all how the film ought to have been seen.
hsb on Apr 9, 2008
Well hopefully we can see an extended edition, or directors cut on DVD in the future. Wouldn't that be kickarse?
Charles on Apr 9, 2008
This stinks -- I'm a big fan of the book and I honestly thought Diesel was perfect for the role. To hear it treated like this is somewhat heartbreaking. Better prepare for another Hitman-esque fiasco of suck :/
Devindra on Apr 9, 2008
Why can't anyone type or edit here? you guys are like... *sighs* enough insults... simply read and move on Frnnk... read and move on...
Frnnkdlxx on Apr 10, 2008
"filmmaker Mathieu Kassovitz, who directed Gothika and a French film from 2000 titled The Crimson Rivers as well as a few other French flicks" - Alex (and everyone else who hasn't seen it) , do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of Kassovitz's masterpiece La Haine (Hate), which I guarantee is one of the most intense and asskicking movies you have ever seen! Saw it more than once when it played in theaters and the ending still hits me like a hammer everytime I see it.
Jules on Apr 10, 2008
well that sucks badly, looks like vin will have to try to comeback in something else if there going to chop 70 minutes and pg it like almost everything else these days, can we please get some adult r rated films please, enough with the pirates of the carribean bullshit, man this pisses me off, and i liked gothika and recently watched the crimson rivers with english voice dubbed over top and that was a good movie loved the ending.
jeff s. on Apr 10, 2008
Harrison ... "watered down the brit version because they can't handle their action" ... I honestly don't even know where to begin in responding to that one ... sheer nonsense ...
Mrbobbyboy on Apr 10, 2008
I second Jules: Watcht LA HAINE!
DeineMudda on Apr 10, 2008
WASN'T HITMAN RATED R THOUGH???? How did Fox edit that then?
Ryan on Apr 10, 2008
They just dont know how to leave anything alone anymore just leave everything alone and send out the movie for everyone to enjoy the way it was originally made for.
Curtis on Apr 10, 2008
oh shit,i like this film if you looking something xtrem,swift,got the adernalin. yeaah perfect
Fan@ on Jun 20, 2008
Just watched the sneak preview yesterday at a Singapore cinema. Got myself FREE tixs. Film was damn good. ONLY the last part spoils it. The whole plot heightens the suspense of a great smashing ending but when it finally turns out, well, it was less greater than expected. i give 3.75 out of 5 for the fact that vin is acting in it. Although it might not be his best, but being a fan of his films, i give my full support.
chad on Sep 10, 2008
This has got to be the worst movie I've seen in the last 10 years. No plot, you just get lost. Yes yes, bring the girl to New York, then what? What's the whole deal with the girl? Everything get's left unanswered. This is a total waste of time.
abc on Oct 8, 2008
Damm nice movie... I really loved it.... and a clear n crisp review Vin is an amazing guy... Read it from somewhere that Vin Diesel dropped out of the lead role of Hitman just to star in this movie. Came across a site which has wallpapers and other interesting trivia of this movie.. Check out http://movies.iexplorehere.com/review/754/Babylon-AD.html Jatin | Designer | Adept Media |
Jatin Kaka on Oct 22, 2008
Well, I watched the DVD the other night, horrible. You could tell it was a good movie that had been cut to shreds. It was almost like watching in fast forward, you couldn't get a handle on it at all. A real shame, I should very much like to see what they really intended for this movie.
chipper on Jan 8, 2009
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