I’ve never met someone who actually likes the 2004 sword-and-sandals epic Alexander, and Oliver Stone already had three shots to convince them. Now, on most occasions, we’d be applying the three strikes rule here — well, actually, I am — yet that’s not going to hold a renegade down. Over 30 (temporally) consistent years of filmmaking, we’ve seen that very little truly does — even when it sometimes should.
Here comes Alexander once again, becuase Stone is making his way toward a fourth (fourth!) cut. With this just-announced project, something I sort of can’t believe WB are throwing money toward, the filmmaker will end up creating a fascinating pattern for his film — long, shorter, long, shorter. After 2007’s 214-minute Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut, we can expect something that, while probably still lengthy, will have a bit more brevity than that much. The rest is kind of a mystery.
Read his quote on the project below (via Collider):
On Alexander, I released a shorter version [in theaters] because of Warner Brothers issues. And I [was] also rushed. [When] I released the director’s cut – it wasn’t called a ‘director’s cut’. It was called ‘The Final Cut’ because [earlier] there was a rushed director’s cut that I was responsible for. My third version three years later in 2007 was called ‘A Final Cut’ and I actually added forty some odd minutes – which I think makes the film better. [I didn’t go back] for money. I just did it because I didn’t feel I had finished the movie, and I felt like I was rushed… It took three years [for me] to fully understand [Alexander]. I’m going to go back next year actually. I’ve been asked by Warner Brothers because they did so well with ‘The Final Cut’. They actually sold more than a million copies. They’ve asked me to go back next year and do a fourth version.
Frankly, it’s a movie about history and I just feel like I can add something more. I wouldn’t do it otherwise… I don’t need more footage. I want to cut it down now because I added too much. I want it to come back a little bit. There’s some trimming [needed]. Have you ever heard of Abel Gance and Napoleon? Coppola actually brought back a version in 1980 at Radio City Music Hall. Huge, black and white, silent movie and it worked. It was magic. Gance had like thirteen versions of the film by the time he died because it was done in triptych in those days. They did three screens. This version that he did was unbelievable. I’m not saying I’m going to have thirteen [versions of Alexander], but I just think it’s important to me, this film. DVD has given it that second life because all the people that have seen it, that million people adds up to a huge different base and they get it.
Again: After all those words, I still don’t understand how (much less why) he’ll make another amendment to a film which might not have an exact way to be pinned down. But if Stone wants to do this and, even, if he thinks something good can come out of it, this writer might be able to give Alexander: Fourth Time’s the Charm a proper look whenever it hits shelves. A new project would be preferable, however.
Does Alexander deserve another stab?
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