Tarantino Heading Back into the Editing Room with Basterds

May 23, 2009
Source: Thompson on Hollywood

Inglourious 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.

Find more posts: Movie News, Opinions



Over to you Al!

Kal on May 23, 2009


man that sucks,but when Uni's fronting the bill you do as your told....ahem....right Spike? VIVA INDIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

esophus on May 23, 2009


"...though there are some exceptions." You mean like Titanic and LOTR trilogy? haha, I jest. Its a shame that Tarantino was pushed to make these changes. If I was Universal, I would give it a week to let the buzz die down then ask Tarantino his own opinions from the feedback. Then, and only then, ask him to change it. I hate that artists are told to change their own work just for the sake of money.

Marcus on May 23, 2009


Tarantino finished his movie relatively quick. from the day he started shooting until the Cannes release was a very short period if you think about this kind of movie, even more now that the lenght is that long. with this in mind and the fact that this time Universal is on board, Tarantino was kind of expecting to do some changes after the premiere in cannes. first because running like crazy to finish it in time for the festival, second because there are "bigger people" pointing their fingers at it hoping it to be the closest of a hit as possible, so they might have said something about that. now with the reviews out, I bet Tarantino just thought "darn it, let´s make these damn changes". just a thought, tho´.

felipe on May 23, 2009


Studio Execs are wannabe artists... Those who can't create film, produce it, and those who can't produce it, critique it (sorry Alex, but it's true ;o)

peloquin on May 23, 2009


#1, haha, I think when Universal thinks its "too negative" that its all relative. After all the 62% Rotten Tomato rating kinda sums up the fact that it was mixed, but Universal might not want mixed, they might want better. Unrelated from my little squabble with Kal, I see this more as a means of making it a Sergio Leone production hell story. We already have the fact that its technically a decade in the making, as was Once Upon a Time in America. Now we have the American distributor deciding that it needs to be trimmed, again, Once Upon a Time In America. If the pattern continues I think it'll back fire on Universal, considering that the trimmed length of America led to a box office bomb.

Al on May 23, 2009


I say make it longer if it enhances the film. People don't mind sitting through a long movie if it is gripping.

Dan W on May 23, 2009


i hope its still a long movie. i personally hate seeing a movie that's only an hour and a half long. it becomes to much like a TV show in my mind.

DoomCanoe on May 23, 2009


Total pimp in that pic, 2 hot ladies, surrounding by cameras, nothing but sunglasses. alllllllrighhhht.

Nick Sears on May 23, 2009


the fact that he's mending the movie now,when august is fairly far away shows what a perfectionist the man is cant wait

twispious on May 23, 2009


I wish movie studios would get over the whole oh the movie is to long it won't make as much money cut more time off it who cares about the quality DOUCHEBAGS!

CLAW on May 23, 2009


Adding scenes? I mean, 20 missing minutes is a lot of film to leave out... especially if you know you have to cut it differently for the release... So is it a case of him not getting a chance to cut it to perfection, or is it him wanting to prevent the Cannes people from ruining some surprises?

Squiggly on May 24, 2009

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